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Ligers and TomTatoes


Photo by: Tilly

Two recent news articles describe attempts to alter nature.  One tells the story of a 922 pound cat that made it into the 2014 edition of Guinness World Records. Hercules is a Liger, a cross between a lion and a tiger that lives at a Myrtle Beach wildlife preserve. According to the cat’s owner, ligers meld two worlds by bringing together the courage of a tiger while being social like a lion.

The other article is about a British company that has developed for sale a vegetable plant they call a TomTato. The news source reports that Thomson and Morgan, a reputable UK horticultural firm, has spent a decade developing a plant that produces a better tasting tomato from potato growing roots. When the tomatoes are ripe for picking, the potatoes can also be dug up. The product is thought to be of interest for gardeners that have limited space.


Photo by: Josef Meixner

What makes the nature altering stories different is that while the liger is a hybrid mix of two species DNA, the TomTato has not been genetically altered. Through a process of grafting, equally sized stems of two different plants are clean cut and then taped together until they heal and grow together as one. As a rule the purpose is to get one plant’s qualities of flowering or fruiting with the root vigor and resilience of another.

The Liger and the TomTato seem to have similar though not exact parallels in the Bible’s description of human nature.  Jewish ancestry, for example, has its roots in the Semitic families of Canaan. As the prophet Ezekiel explained to the residents of Jerusalem, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says to Jerusalem: Your ancestry and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite” (Ezek 16:3).

In an ethnic sense, Israel has its roots in the same blood as all other nations. True Israel, however, because of its spiritual source, is a hybrid that cannot reproduce itself naturally (Rom 2:28; Rom 9:6).

Photo by: Andy Carvin

Photo by: Andy Carvin

On the other hand, what we call the Church is what the Bible calls the result of a supernatural graft. (Rom 11:17-24).

What’s Paul’s point? One implication is that, in God’s presence, there is no basis for ethnic or spiritual pride in being either Jewish or non-Jewish.  God’s purpose has been to call and cultivate on family group for the sake of all (Gen 12:1-3)—and then all in turn…to be for one (Rom 11:29-32).

The more important point is that all of us have hope and access to God only because of the Son of Abraham, Son of David, and Son of God who suffered and died for us.

If this is true, don’t those of us who are in Christ have every reason to remember where we came from (Acts 17:24-30)—and to look for common ground  and shared interests with those who are inclined to see us as thinking that we are better than them? While treasuring our faith in Christ, isn’t there more Liger and TomTato in us than we might have thought?

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33 Responses to “Ligers and TomTatoes”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    I’ve read this morning’s new topic several times and I honestly am not sure what the topic is for certain. Perhaps too much intro.

    I am guessing the matter is *spiritual pride*.

    If we can wrap our minds around it our *pride* is in Jesus of Nazareth. Anything we can accomplish is a result of Him living in us, as well as through Him we are able to glean successful living because of Biblical *truths*.

    The world hates Jesus and especially any people who succeed as a people and give the honor of doing so to God by way of its relationship to God’s Son.

    The world hates Americans and especially Christian Americans, not because of pride Americans show, but because of jealousy and pride they harbor in themselves.

    I feel good about being Christian and I feel good about being American, I don’t feel superior, I feel blessed and why shouldn’t I be pleased, happy and content believing I am a child of God because of Jesus who lives on in and through me.

    I am not going to apologize for being Christian nor American to a world that is resentful and jealous of God’s blessings.

    Jerusalem once called Salem had its roots in Canaan, but Israel’s genetic roots are a clear and detailed genealogy from Adam to Jacob whom He called Israel, not from Canaan.

    I am exhausted both physically and spiritually this morning as battle in the spirit world is quite draining, but I will fight on never surrendering to how the world wants me to think, feel and believe, if you want to call that pride call it whatever you want, I call it adherence to my faith.


  2. BruceC says:

    I can find “common ground” with everyone else in the world. WE are ALL sinners. And we are all fallen and imperfect. And we will be imperfect until the end of our life. But I and others in the Body of Christ are forgiven sinners. Washed by the Blood of the Lamb. After death we are to be in the presence of our Lord forever. Others will not. That does not make me better than the unforgiven; it just makes me forgiven.
    I have a feeling that this post is rooted in the previous one.
    Just because I may not find much agreement with people of other religions; or even some of the posters here, that does not mean that I am narrow minded. I may be a little more simple than some of the more educated and intellectual types that may be here; but I am okay with that too as Christ spent a lot of time with folks like me that were “simple”.

    Bravo on your post Steve. Isn’t it amazing how Satan finds ways to label those whom he hates in the eyes of the world and then uses his unwitting puppets to lash out at them?

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    I actually heard a radio article about the grafted tomato-potato plant! Both the tomato and the potato are nightshade plants, and have that affinity built in. It was not natural, but rather supernatural for Jesus to be born to a young human being, Mary of Nazareth. He emptied himself of all heavenly glory and appeared as “nobody special.”

    The thing about Jesus, it seems to me, that many of us hold at arm’s length, is that he gave up his exalted position in order to serve the unclean — fallen humanity. The Apostle Paul writes to the church at Philippi from prison:

    “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

    When I am brutally honest with myself, I must admit that top-down Christianity has seen its day (ushered in by Emperor Constantine). We may be back to a more 1st century model of ministry — that being bottom-up, grass-roots — from a position of powerlessness.

    I love the story, Forever, of the Hindu holy man who saw a vision of Jesus! I have also heard of Muslims who have seen visions of Jesus — and have become Christian preachers and teachers in some of the most life-threatening circumstances imaginable.

    Wonder what a Zen-Christian looks like, perhaps on the streets of a large, dying city — or working among rural homeless people. Are these branches broken off, or branches grafted in? Thanks for something to think about today, Mart. Am also reminded of the mountain pool that has streams flowing in and streams flowing out. It does not get choked with algae, grass and soil and finally become part of the ground.


  4. SFDBWV says:

    I am once again reminded of Genesis; God favored Abel’s sacrifice and so Cain killed him.

    Was it Abel’s pride that got him killed or Cain’s?

    Maru, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 tells us there will be a falling away before the antichrist is revealed, and in 2 Timothy 4:3, 4 it is told people will go after their own lusts and find teachers that will tell them what they want to hear, turning away from the truth in favor of fables.

    Israel is blessed and prosperous while her neighbors curse her for it and hate her for it and just like Cain, would kill her if it were possible.

    America has *elected* its own demise by denying itself to be a Christian nation and joining in to adultery with a world rife with it.

    That is not my pride speaking, it is a fact.


  5. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Steve —

    I accept your judgment that he is a “man of lawlessness revealed, the son of destruction,” and “a teacher to suit their own passions.”

    Who are we talking about, the branch or the tree? I am eager to hear some fact on the matter. I hope to grow in godly discernment, though it may prove painful.


  6. swwagner says:

    Thankfully I am supernaturally in the Family of God…joint heir with Christ. That is enough for me.

    I agree that we don’t always remember that Jesus lowered himself from heaven’s glory to save us. Think of going into a filthy environment like a sewer and then living there. That is what Jesus did…we are dirty rags compared to him…yet He became sin to conquer death.

    Think of it! Even though Jesus’ coming to earth was in dutiful obedience to the Father…Jesus also came in love and calls us brothers and friends. He invested himself in us…He was not aloof, living above us while doing a necessary job. He enjoys our company and is preparing a place for us so that we can be with Him.

  7. remarutho says:

    Amen Steve —

    Jesus said, “Unless I wash you, you no share with me.”

    He invited “*all*…who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens” to come to him. He spoke to the crowd: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


  8. remarutho says:

    Slip of the keyboard: “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Maru

  9. oneg2dblu says:

    It is a good start for the day to open up this link and find solid foundational thinking prevailing without all the softening and compromise this darkened world seeks to hear, all the wastered down stuff, designed for the itching eared masses.

    Am thinking that both the original plant, the vine and the grafted in peices, the branches, both have a cut to bear.

    You can’t be grafted in without being first being cut off from the old one.

    Christ also said, “If you deny me, I will deny you before my Father in Heaven.”

    He did not use any distant, watered down thoughts of a God like figure possibly existing somewhere, but He used the closeness of a relationship with His Heavenly Father.

    So, those who practice any other faiths, than a faith centered on Christ alone, deny Christ as their Lord and Savior.
    It sounds to me, they will not have any close relationship with any Almighty God either, and certainly have no rights to any father in heaven.

  10. poohpity says:

    Out of God’s great mercy we have been grafted into vine, if it was God that has done this great work then how can anyone boast or be arrogant about their place in the vine. (Romans 9:16 NIV) Some of the Israelites turned their backs on God yet boasted that they were His chosen so God cut them away and made room for those who wanted to know and adore Him.

    Paul did not boast or was arrogant about how spirit filled he was he boasted in the suffering and persecution he went through on count of his relationship with God. He remebered who he was when Jesus appeared to him with great mercy.

    Jesus cut down barriers when He sat and talked with a Samaritan despised by the Jews because they were thought to be unclean and then on top of that it was a woman in broad daylight. Ooooh noooo! She then became to first witness for Christ as she carried His message back to her town and many came to share in His great mercy in the Living Water. Arrogance went up in flames. John 4:7-26 NIV

    For any Christian to feel they are better than another person is to not understand or remember who they were before they met their Savior and their standing after. If we want to boast, boast in this that Christ died for a sinner like me and gave me what I did not deserve, forgiveness and grace. Listening for common ground and shared interests means we care about the person it does not mean we have to believe the way they do but it is because we know Christ and elevate Him against our preconceived notions, prejudices, hatreds and exclusions. Jesus accepted us apart from what we once thought and did, so who are we to do any different. Isaiah 2:17 NIV

  11. royalpalm says:

    It is hard to comprehend how one can have spiritual pride when everything comes from the Lord. Our existence and everything around us are His. Our salvation was done for us; and our understanding of His word that led to our faith in Him was initiated by Him. We deserve nothing but His wrath yet in grace and mercy He left His heavenly glory to save us and made us part of His kingdom.

    I guess when a person is far from a mountain he thinks of himself as enormous; only when he is at the foot of that mountain will he realise how insignificant he really is. Isa. 40:15,16,17,21,22,23.

    Maru, re-the Hindu and Muslim who became Christians through visions of Jesus– I have read several accounts as well. Jesus came to save that which was lost and He will do everything to save a person who wants to honor God including Paul who was zealous for God in the wrong way.

    Eduard Klassen is a gifted Paraguayan harpist whose Mennonite family left Canada to live in the deepest jungles of Paraguay. His life story is a testimony of a loving seeking God who will never stop until He finds His lost sheep or lost coin. Eduard Klassen does free concert tours including to the USA and perhaps some of the readers in this blog will have the opportunity to be blessed by his music and testimony.

    Right now there are mission organizations working in the slums and leper districts of the world esp. India. The missionaries left behind their comfort zone to spread the gospel of Jesus. Like Abraham who, though was given the promised land, considered the present nothing compared to the heavenly city that God has prepared for His followers they live in “tents” for they are looking forward to their permanent home with God. (Heb. 11:9, 10, 15, 16)

  12. belleu says:

    Spiritual pride is a great sin, Proverbs 8:13. Not only do a lot of Christians think they are better than nonbelievers, they think they are better than their fellow Christians. The reason I left organized religion was because how Christians treated one another and outsiders. I remember standing in the foyer of my church after watching another outbreak of criticism and judgement and thinking, “I wouldn’t bring anyone to this church to visit again.” Then I thought, “Why on earth am I here?”

    I now see the “church” as those who have Jesus in their hearts and lives. The “church” is everywhere and I feel at one with born-again believers all over the world.

    I guess you could say I am judging organized religion and condemning it. No. I’m not. I, personally, just couldn’t take it any more. I was just worn out from it. I know there are good churches and organized religion gets a lot of good done. Not my church maybe, but lots of churches do an enormous amount of good.

    Does the whole rest of the world hate Christians, as Steve says? I don’t think so. Do they hate America? Only the violent part. I’m sure the world is amazed at how violent America has become. I live in Canada and I can tell you we are horrified about American violence at home (assault rifles, killings) and abroad (war upon war). We don’t hate the Americans or Christians – we hate the lack of love, peace and tolerance. We aren’t resentful and jealous, we are thankful we live here where there are strict gun laws and medicare.

  13. BruceC says:

    Sorry to disagree. As a retired cop I can tell you that more gun laws is not the answer for an immoral culture.
    Our cities that have the strictest gun laws are also the most violent. People are the problem and their actions, not objects.
    I will leave it at that as I don’t want to take this thread down that road. I don’t want to go there either.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  14. belleu says:

    Forgive me. I shouldn’t have gone there either.

  15. poohpity says:

    When I start to critize a body of believers for their seemingly ugly behaviors I am speaking of myself Romans 2:1. I would never get in if being perfect were a prerequisite. Also looking at their behaviors stops me from looking at mine and how much work the Lord has yet to do in me. The focus is all wrong if we are there to look at each other and fail to worship God, learn and look to Him. There is something so wonderous about a group of people singing praises to our King and Bible focused teaching. Much to learn in so little time.

  16. Artle says:

    It was a struggle to glean the topic, but I have, as well I might and here is where I think I am.

    Everyone on earth is connected thru the flesh of Adam. Everyone on earth is (or may someday be) connected thru the faith of Abraham. Everyone on earth is (or can be) connected thru the blood of Christ. The True Church can include anyone, from anywhere, so why don’t we include everybody that is already included?

  17. Artle says:

    Perhaps the last sentence should end: , so why don’t we accept everybody that is already acceptable?

  18. poohpity says:

    Or why don’t we accept those who we think are unacceptable?

  19. oneg2dblu says:

    Artle… we can not accept that all things are already pure in the body of Christ, when we are also commanded to make certain observstions or judgments about other brothers and sisters.
    I’ll present a few reasons why we need to look at others and not just ourselves…
    Luke 17:3, 1 Corinthians 5:11, James 5:19,20, 1 John 5:16, 2 Thessalonians 3:16.
    All those verses would be uselesss unless we can open our eyes to look at our brothers and sisters, and then discern, judge, rubuke, correct, warn, and inform them as well.

    Or, we could take an I don’t care how they live attitude.

    So,there are a few reasons why we are not to just accept all behaviors in the body of Christ.

    Just making a point that removes all those pride issues from our having to use some discernment to see right from wrong in another believer,and we would be well within the word to do so.
    We are to be speaking up, praying for them, and acting upon the teachings we are given.

    So, everyone who looks at a brother does not look down at them with pride.

    Our being able to see a warning from a brother as good honest discernment instead, would cetainly be the better choice, unless we can not see them as being anything other than pride filled.

    I personally do not see pride in any brother who calls me to account, I see love in action, and I see a brother who cares enough to make an effort to correct me when I go astray.


  20. oneg2dblu says:

    Sorry I meant to type 2 Thessalonians 3:6. :0

  21. oneg2dblu says:

    May that verse 2 Thes. 3:16 as first displyed be considered as my closing verse, and may it be received like all the others, given in Love. Gary

  22. Artle says:

    Gary, Good recovery :-)

  23. phpatato says:


    “I personally do not see pride in any brother who calls me to account, I see love in action, and I see a brother who cares enough to make an effort to correct me when I go astray.”

    I feel the same way. But tying into a couple of topics ago…..I hope that you wouldn’t see pride in any sister who calls you to account. Sisters are just as loving and caring to make the effort as well. :-)

  24. lovely says:

    Don’t know why I like to go back to the garden of Eden but Ladies do you know that although Eve was the one deceive but Adam was right beside EVE when The entire temptation event happened.
    Genesis 3:6 She also gave some to her husband, WHO WAS WITH HER, and he ate it.
    God gave Adam the dominion over the earth. Therefore when he disobeyed and listened to the snake the world was handed over to the prince of this world . 1 John 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.Therefore I see the event in the garden of Eden is happening now . Adam blame Eve,and eve the snake. Do you see in actual fact in that fight .. the is the snake that got the better of them, cause he won the world over. Therefore when we ‘re in conflict neither of us wins but we’re doing exactly what the “snake” wants –Division . That’s what Jesus came to do to save us out of his dominion. Colossians 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, Neither Adam or Eve won that day so let us rise up and win the world for Jesus. Adam is created to lead and Eve to help him
    . Lets help each other Adams and Eves and not point fingers anymore. Of course we have to still depend on Jesus to help us .Jesus says without Him we can do nothing that includes loving one another. How can you know what love’s all about if you’ve never experience God’s love. We can’t show compassion without the compassion of God. That’s the difference between doing good works for salvation and doing good works because of salvation. We’re not going to earn our salvation but we’re doing good works out of God’s love that flows through us and we that means spending time with the Father . If not we’ll run out of compassion because human compassion has a limit but God’s Compassion is limitless

  25. oneg2dblu says:

    Artle… Very true I do not see pride in any brother or sister who calls me to account.
    That does not mean it is not there though, so we test everything and hold it accountable to Christ and his word.

    But, if others only see pride in others all the time, then I take account of that constant response, and call it to account as well.
    So, two wrongs do not make a right, very true, but constantly labeling others as prideful, to me, has its roots somewhere other than scripture.
    Unless we only see all warnings, correction, rebuke, and another’s calling to us account as being only pride, then by the very following of scrpiture we are all full of it, and need to be called to account.
    I am not ashamed of mentioning the Gospel, or the warnings in the word of God, or what it teaches, but the worldly who want to “silence what they do not want to hear, and at all cost, must use demeaning labels and accuse us of not being loving.
    That way they think they have shut us down and won.
    Love Wins?
    That way PC becomes the law of the land and God’s Word, or the mention of Jesus Christ, is slowly being forced out of every worldly venue.
    Starting with the easy little one’s, the anti Christian government run public schools.
    Who won that bsttle? P.C. and the worldly who worship it, or the people of God who know better??
    If we ever make a stand, we are labeled intolerant, unloving, pridefilled and wrong.
    Go figure….

  26. oneg2dblu says:

    Going back to the garden… If Adam and Eve had not ever eaten of the tree of Good an Evil, would they have known good and evil?
    Would they have known they were naked?
    Would they have ever tried to hide from God?
    Or, use their own strength to make their own fig leaf coverings?
    Probably not.
    They would not have known death.
    They would not have fulfilled what the scriptures have revealed to all mankind, that Forgiveness of Sin and Eternal life only come through Jesus Chris,t and the rest of the book is His story, and ours.

    So, yes, there is sin caused by deception, willful intent, and by ommission.
    Let us not be quilty of willful intent or ommission by not warning all brothers when they is playing with or walking around outside the will of God.
    That would also be a Sin.

  27. royalpalm says:

    Sometimes in BTA I read all kinds of unkind comments about Christians and how their behaviour does not live up to their status of being Christians. This is true and sad. We all struggle in our walk with the Lord; let us continue to encourage and help each other and if we have to point to each other’s inadequacies and failures let us receive or give it with humility as the Scriptures teach us.

    Our church invited a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who by God’s grace became a Christian; he was persecuted and he left his country to start an organization dedicated to sharing the gospel especially to Muslims. Islam is a way of life and to convert to Christianity is to forsake everything – family, culture, livelihood, religion. He confessed that a Muslim, even though not devout, is willing to strike back or even die if anything is said against his religion. There is a strong unity and loyalty in the Islam religion which explains why it is growing.

    To reach Muslims requires cultivating relationships, kindness, and sacrifice of time. Those who become Christians often need a lot of help because their supports are no longer available. Kindness and friendship mean a lot. Another important lesson he taught was , “NEVER SAY BAD THINGS about your fellow CHRISTIANS to these believers.” This will destroy the testimony of good, hardworking, faithful servants of the Lord.

    Just before Jesus died one important item of His prayer was for unity among believers. Pride is a major cause of disunity among us Christians.

  28. oneg2dblu says:

    royalpalm… Would different peoples biblical interpretation of the word be considered pride?

    Could denominational differences be labeled pride?

    Could our doctrinal differences be pride?

    Or is the pride only found in others by the way they individually express themselves?

    Who gets to decide whether their heart is really pridefilled and the problem?

    I don’t know about you, but I can’t see a persons heart.

    We in the church can certainly see other’s actions though which speak quite loudly at times, and here we only hear their comments and that may be a what makes the difference to us.

    Then again, we have seen here where one reads our words as only condemning, and another as being benefitial, and each comes away with a different meaning or intention.

    Then we wonder what is in their heart, could it be pride, or just confusion?

    Who gets to decide when pride is the underlying issue?

    Because all pride is sin, or as some say, all sin is pride, then we probably will see their sin-nature well displayed if their pride is present.


  29. Artle says:

    Gary, I assume since you addressed me at the beginning of your last day 8:19pm comment that it was in reference to my earlier 7:04 – 7:18 comments. These were an attempt to simplify the topic, which may or may not be accurate. I changed the include/included to accept/acceptable simply because many are called, but few are chosen. I made no reference to behavior.

    To be perfectly honest it is not up to me to accept (choose) anyone, because it is not my wedding. I am only a guest brought in from the streets.

    You started the 10:52am comment as if in response to something I said that I had not. Would not want you thinking I thought something that I may not.

  30. royalpalm says:

    Gary, I do not consider denominational,doctrinal, or even differing interpretations of the Bible as pride. If there are differences of opinion, I hope to be able to state my case and to listen to their case. If we don’t agree I leave it at that.

    I lead a Bible study where the members are older and wiser than I am. There are lessons where we do not agree. I give my reasons and references from the Bible and they give theirs. I always tell them that God is the source of truth and in time we will understand what it really means, but not right now. We have this group for more than 15 years and we love each other despite our differences.

    I have also lead other Bible studies composed of different denominations. If there are differences I tell them the same. God does not want us to be deceived but will teach us the truth so we will leave it for later. I do not like to have disunity due to my own knowledge or interpretations.

    It is better to avoid topics that divide. We are in different stages of our faith and unity is pleasing to our Lord. Colossians 3:12,13,14,15,16,17 really helps me
    especially the “bearing with each other”. God wants us to be peacemakers. He is the One who will change people and their ideas.

  31. royalpalm says:

    Gary, I appreciate the thoughts that you share here at BTA. Your love and passion and zeal for the Lord and His word are evident in your posts.

    Our posts may be misunderstood or misinterpreted and this happens all the time – but what matters most is we tried to express ourselves. God looks at the intent of our hearts and He understands us more than anybody including ourselves. You are special and I value your contribution here.

  32. oneg2dblu says:

    royalpalm… thank you,
    You are valuable and I value your contribution here also.
    Bible studies and this blog are great fodder to bring about growth and truths that sometimes are revealed by others in ways we can not find or express ourselves.
    We all benefit from sharing God’s word and God’s voice sometimes shines through other people and their thoughts.

  33. oneg2dblu says:

    Artle… I addressed you several times because you are commenting and I’m exchanging my thoughts about your comments, some specific and some general to the body of believers, so the thread just runs on, and I may or may not be any longer addressing just you but myself and everyone else.
    You get to pick what you think is specifically your’s and the rest is what is general in nature to all and shared with all.
    Just like what I had done above in my last response to royalpalm.
    I should have said, latest response, and hopefully not my last.
    So yes, misunderstandings do have their place and time here, but as long as truth is in the batter, the final rising should help result in a good finished product,
    where the hungry get fed, while those who have had their fill gently push away from the table, and even the crumbs that are left over help feed the dogs.

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