A Sweetie of A Sweet 16

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Wow. We’ve got a really sweet-smelling and sweet-scented Sweet 16!

And if you like sweets, this is sugar nirvana for basketball lovers, everywhere. Tonight we’ve got NC/Wisconsin, Wichita State v. Notre Dame, Xavier taking on Arizona and West Virginia trying to KO Kentucky. Friday, March 27, 2015 we’ve got UCLA /Gonzaga, NC St. and Louisville, Utah battling Duke and Michigan St. trying to oust Oklahoma. Whew! What a line up.  And it’s no small feat to reach the Round of 16. There’s not an unsightly dame or an ugly game in the bunch.

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And let’s not forget the ladies; my girls, the University of Maryland Terrapins, have made it to their Sweet 16 and play Duke on Saturday.

It’s curious and almost comical that the NCAA chose to name this round of the NCAA Basketball tournament the “Sweet 16.” It’s taken from the traditional “arrival” of a young lady onto the scene. At 16, tradition teaches that little girls become young ladies and are given a big coming out party. A Sweet 16 Party is a coming out ceremony. It’s a celebration of a coming of age for young girls.

According to http://www.Favorcreations.com, these days, most young girls look forward to their 16th birthday, as they will be given an extravagant party that is much more opulent than previous birthday celebrations.

The Sweet 16 celebration derived from English traditions in the 17th century. When a girl turned 16, she was presented in the royal court, considered a young lady, and could possibly be a suitor for a wealthy man. The idea of having a fancy party for a girl who is turning 16 is believed to have originated in France in the form of debutant balls. These galas served as a way to present the guest of honor as a woman to society, and debutant balls are still held in many parts of the southern United States like Alabama and Louisiana, due to the French cultural influence there.

During a Sweet 16 party, it is common to light 16 candles, not only to represent the young woman’s years of life, but to signify important family and friends that have been a positive influence to her throughout the years. It is customary to add a 17th candle to the teenager’s birthday cake to wish her good luck.

And so, since we don’t believe in luck, we wish all of the teams that reached the Sweet 16 well.

And so what about you?  Are you smelling like a rose or stinking up the house? Have you defeated an old enemy or are you failing the same old tests? Have you driven past that bad habit or are you driving around in circles? How sweet it is to get that “tough out” or to stop that “hot hand.”  How sweet it is to reach a significant milestone or milepost in your life.

Have you come of age and commandeered or conquered anything significant or sizable of late? Achieving a high watermark is no small feat. And so, thank God for all that you are, and for where you are, for it is by the grace of God that we have and hold and handle the heaviness of life. In spite and despite the stink and the stench of the sin and shame that overshadows this celestial sphere, we are to be a sweet-smelling savor to God and to the world as we advance and progress and mature in God.

Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.  Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.  To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16, New Living Translation

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