It's time to make a change. I said to myself, "Nanc', quit eating junk food!" It was not serving my body well. Intrigued by a lush display of green sprouts at the farmer's market, I decided I would start eating healthy by growing my own sprouts. I went shopping for a seed-sprouting kit, and happily found just one, on clearance. The tag read, "$2.48 As is." Hmmm. "As is." Maybe something was missing? I opened the box. Everything was there: lid, two sprouting trays, water reservoir. Nothing broken. Seeds packets were included, too. The only thing that was missing were the instructions. However, a few small photos on the side of the box showed how the seeds were placed in the trays. When I got home, I looked at the photos. I spread the tiny broccoli seeds across each growing tray, sprinkled water through the lid, and watched it drip into each chamber. There. In a few days I would have my own sprouts! With anticipation, I watched...and waited. Day 1: I kept the seeds moist, rinsing them two different times. Day 2: Two tiny seeds began to sprout! I added water to the trays, the same way I'd done previously. Day 3: Disappointment! When I got up this morning, only a few more seeds had sprouted. What was taking so long? I researched the internet, but was reassured I was doing all I needed to do. Day 4: More disappointment! My seeds should have all sprouted by now, but instead, only a few had barely sprouted. I had failed. It wasn't until I re-opened the box that I found the problem. The date stamped on the side of the seed packet read "11/10." No wonder the seeds didn't grow: they were bad; they had expired! This experience trying to grow sprouts reminded me of the parable Jesus told about good and bad seed in Matthew 13:27: "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where did the weeds come from?'" Jesus told them an enemy did this. The servants asked Jesus if they should go pull up the weeds, but Jesus told them not to, for in doing so, they might root up with wheat with them. He said the two would grow together until the time of harvest, when the weeds would be gathered and burned, and the wheat would be gathered and brought into the barn. I got what I asked for when I bought the sprouting kit for $2.48, "As is." It wasn't just the instructions that were missing--the "good seeds" were missing! Perhaps the seeds were good in 2010, but for whatever reason, this sprouting kit did not sell, and the seeds lay dormant for too long. Evil and deceit are like the weeds in the field that try to choke out the good seed, the Word of God. In an effort to be healthy and cut out junk food, I looked forward to good results with the sprouting kit. Unfortunately I was deceived. I hadn't looked closely enough at the label, purchasing "goods" that were not good! From now on, I will be more careful. I will be on the lookout for "good seed," a reminder of my spiritual life. It is hard work to keep out the "bad stuff," but this can be managed by focusing on the good--God's Word. I'd like to avoid going "spiritually dormant." May His Word continue to sprout! May this week be a fruitful one for you, and may the words you use be like good seed, that serves you well.