"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

Posts tagged ‘Garden’

Seed……….Time……… and then Harvest

Seed . . .

Cristal was so excited.  It was her first garden.  She had gone to the store and bought some wonderful heirloom seeds.  After having gotten on the internet, she learned that she had to till the soil, add nutrients, and get it ready to receive the seed.  She worked very hard.

When the seeds were in the ground, she marked each row.  In one row, there was carrots and another had beets and yet another had onions.  When she went to the nursery, she bought some tomato plants and some pepper plants.

Impatiently, she waited for the seeds to break the ground.  She would move the soil and peek at the seeds.  It seemed that they were just lying there.  She watered them again.  The next day, she looked and still there was nothing, so once again, she moved the dirt so that she could look at the seeds.  It was very disappointing.

Time . . . . .

Her grandmother called and asked her to come to visit for a week.  Cristal hated to leave the garden, but grandmother seemed lonely.  She went out and watered the garden very good and then packed the car and left for her visit.

When she came back home, she turned off the car and ran back to see the garden.  To her shock and suprise, there were little spears of life coming out of the ground.  Tiny plants were pushing their way up toward the sun.  She scratched her head in wonder.  She had left them alone and they had sprung forth from the seed that she had placed in the good soil.  She had only to wait.

Her mouth watered in anticipation of the day, when the full plant would bear its bounty.  “Time,” she thought, “time is an important part of the process.”

Today’s Lesson:

Christians plant seed in so many ways.  It can be money, time, smiles, clothes, furniture, houses, cars and lands.  We must remember that there is life in the seed.

The seed we plant will bring forth a harvest after its own kind.  We, too, get anxious to receive a harvest.  We will worry our seed, but we need to remember the lesson that Cristal learned.  It takes time.  Time is the key to the harvest.

We have quoted Ecclesiastes and said, “Seed-time and harvest” thinking it was about seasons, but the lesson is about waiting and resting.  We lay the foundation – till the soil of our hearts by giving our lives to the Lord to change us into suitable ground to bear the seed.  We  give our tithes and offerings to the place where we are being discipled.   We give our material goods to those who have need of them.  We give our time in service to others.  When we get weary, we may think that we won’t receive a harvest.

In Galatians we read, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

What are you sowing?  Are you giving smiles or frowns, joy and laughter or complaints and sarcasm?  Are you sharing the material goods and the money God has entrusted to you?

Harvest!

Remember this important lesson – we reap what we sow –  later than we sow and greater than we sow.

Think of the corn seed.  You put it in the ground and in time the plant comes up and the ear appears with row upon row of corn for seed and eating.  It is a good picture of how the principle of sowing and reaping works.  Don’t eat all your harvest but sow some of it again to continue reaping a harvest.

What are you sowing?  Share a time when you reaped a harvest.

Love Story

Once upon a time far away and long ago – this is how many stories start, but this story is right here, now, and today! The setting may seem to be somewhere else, but all of the things that have roots in the Scripture are here and now! So – here we go!

We have heard that God is love and he wants us to love Him, but we have also heard really bad stuff about him. We call them ‘Acts of God’ which include tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other mega disasters. If there is a car accident and a child is hopelessly hurt or killed, we blame God. Why do we do that? Did we ever honestly attempt to figure out if God is responsible for all these bad things? Is it possible that we as well as other created beings could be responsible?

We have heard the Bible stories so much that they sound all together too familiar. We don’t even get what they are saying. Jesus came as a baby, grew up, did some stuff, got a bunch of people mad and they crucified him, but He showed them and rose from the dead and then went up into heaven. Who buys that? Why does it matter?

We can look at this story in a different way.

Father God wanted a family that would choose to love Him. So he did a really risky thing. He made a special race of people who were capable of living on a level equal with Him but he gave them free choice. They could choose to love Him or not. The ‘or not’ part is where the risk is.

His first son was Adam was a created being and then he created his daughter, Eve. They had it all! He met all their needs by providing a garden that He Himself planted. They could eat anything in the garden with the exception of only one tree. He came to them every day and they walked and talked together. They were learning about this amazing place. Except for the garden, the planet was in a mess, and He wanted Adam and Eve to occupy it and make it all beautiful. They were to make other children in the god-class. They would be like Him but they would not be Him. They would be able to do amazing things. Everything was there for them to enjoy with meaningful work in establishing dominion as co-rulers.

But, the reason the planet was in a mess was that one of God’s heavenly created beings – a beautiful archangel named Lucifer made a choice and led a rebellion in heaven – and God exiled him to earth. He raged around the planet because he had lost his most favored status. He turned earth into a chaotic place with havoc everywhere. The Scripture says, “the world was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light!” He created everything that was made.

There Adam and Eve were on the earth, in a beautiful garden, and they were enjoying themselves, but Lucifer was roaming freely intent on spoiling Father God’s plan. He took on the form of a beautiful serpent and began to dialog with them about the forbidden tree. He did what he is still doing today. He created doubt in the goodness and loving kindness of Father. He convinced Adam and Eve that Father was withholding something. Father had withheld nothing including the knowledge of good and evil. They just were not mature enough to understand it. They lacked ‘No-Thing!’ But doubt had its way and the deceiver won the day. They ate the forbidden fruit and started the cycle of sin that has created storms, accidents and disasters. Now, the longer we live on this earth, the more the sin cycle creates chaos.

Father loves them and knew what they had done, but He came to the Garden anyway. When they heard Father in the Garden, they hid, then they blamed each other and God explained to them what forces they had set in motion. He killed innocent animals, shed their blood and covered their sin. God’s love always covers. The Scriptures say that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Then He put them out of the Garden and set up angelic guards to protect the Tree of Life.

Father God knew from the foundation of the world that we would need to be rescued and He, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit put a wonderful plan into effect. He would send his Son to earth to shed His precious, sinless blood and wipe out the sin that man put into effect by his disobedience and mankind would be restored to him. All they had to do was to choose him. Then God would teach them all the things he had planned for them from the foundation of the world. As they draw near to Him, he draws near to them. In His Presence is fullness of joy!

We can now eat from the Tree of Life and go back to the Garden-life and walk with Father because of the Son. He sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us as our constant companion, guide and friend. We can occupy and bring heaven to earth by walking with Father every day in Jesus name.

So, you have a choice. I had a choice. I chose Him. I KNOW He loves me. I KNOW He loves you. Choose Him and prove His love.

It is easy to do. The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved. Read John 3:16, 17. Find out how much He loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him. Each of us come to the realization of who He is in a different way. For me, I was driving down the road, listening to the radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that He was real. I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus. I just didn’t know. I didn’t know.” So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing. Ask Him to make Himself real and I promise that He will.

Genesis 1, 2, 3

Matthew 26:28

Luke 22:20

John 15:26, 16:13

Acts 20:28

Ephesians 1:7, 2:13

Colossians 1:14, 20

Hebrews 9:12, 14, 10:19, 22

1 John 1:7, 5:8

Revelation 1:5, 5:9, 7:14, 12:11

The Body – A Song of Praise by Clare Kaegi-Watts

Presenting Clare-Kaegi Watts, my dear and talented friend. The pictures here are her original artwork done in great detail in pen and ink. 

She is also a poet whose words are a praise to our Heavenly Father.  In her work, THE BODY, you will see that she highlights various parts of her body that she uses to praise the Lord.  (i.e.  Eyes, Feet, Hands, etc.)

It is my hope that the art and the poetry bless you as they have me. 

 The Body

A Song of Praise

Before the light of morning spills across the land

I rise to greet the day and thank my God

For His grace, His love, my liberty.

Some distance walked while still half dark,

Through trees the soft mists shrouding.

The quiet of my LORD’s creation settles, peaceful, still,

Upon my spirit as I seek His sweet presence there.

 

A soft golden ray of light from this day’s sun

Alights upon the silver, polished limbs

Of a tall and stately Gum right in my path.

A movement caught my eye,

A note of song of sweet, pure clarity

As tiny birds of dazzling hue and great fragility

Woke joyful, carefree, singing praises

To their Maker for this new fair day!

 

I stopped, looked and held my breath;

The scene to me became a symphony

Of light, and sound – and wonder.

God’s blessings, beyond number, took perspective

Far too wonderful for words to say

As revelation led to revelation beyond number.

Welling up from deep within, this song of praise erupted ……

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my EYES that I may see

The beauty of this tall and stately tree,

That ALL Your wonderful creation I too may gaze upon

And praise Your handiwork with, “It is good!”

And precious Savior thank You for my inner eyes

That I may see the wonder of Your Truth.

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my EARS that I with joy

May hear the sweet song of birds carefree,

The cricket’s chirp, cicada shrill, frog or busy bee;

Or stand and listen to Your wind blow gently through the trees.

And loving Savior, gentle Friend, thank You for my “inner ear”

That hears Your still, small voice of guidance, love and care.

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my TONGUE that I

With thanks and praise may taste of Your rich bounty –

Of fruit, or herb or honey sweet,

Of bread, or fish or tender meat,

And blessed Jesus thank You for my LIPS that join

With tongue to sing Your praises,

Glorifying You for ALL Your graces.

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my HANDS that I may touch

The wonders of Your work.

To feel the softness of a petal smooth,

The sweet touch of baby’s cheek.

But especially I thank You LORD for these strong hands

To do Your work and minister to souls in need.

And Abba, Father, thank You for these HOLY hands

Rising with my prayers as precious incense to Your Throne,

That reaching, touch Your great and loving heart –

To receive blessings beyond words known!

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my FEET that bear me

On journeys far, that I might marvel as I travel

At Your good gifts so great by far!

I bless You, Jesus, for these feet made strong to carry me

Through my pilgrimage to heaven eternal –

And follow in YOUR footsteps straight and true.

Beloved LORD, I thank You for my MIND that through life’s journey

I can ponder on those things of God

That come from You each morning.

That in my memory retain the treasures of Your Wisdom

And Your guidance, meditating daily on Your Word

And think with joy and wonder of those things which are above!

 

But LORD Creator, Mighty, Gracious God, I thank You

Bless and praise You most for my strong HEART.

You took my old cold stony one, and cast it on the scrap-heap,

And in its place You put a heart of flesh, restored,

Washed in my Savior’s blood, cleansed and forgiven.

So now I see, O SO clear! – that ALL I am, and ALL I have,

And EVERYTHING about me

Is gifted from my loving God, that I may sing His praises.

And this body, made by Him,

For Him, a holy Temple.

To God, and Him alone – be glory!

AMEN.

 

 

Life and death

Those of us who live on this planet have come to believe that we are in a battle between good and evil.  We know we should want good but we are captivated by evil.  Evil seems naughty and enticing.  There is an allure.  Skulls and death are a banner of the hopelessness that many of us feel.  We wear it and somehow it makes it seem better.  We even make fun of people who seem to be good.  We call them “goodies” and brown-nosers.  So what is the God-story in this premise?

Let’s look at it this way.

Eve took a big bite of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and it was very good.  She immediately offered it to her husband, Adam.  He knew he shouldn’t eat it.  He knew what God had told him.  He could eat of any tree in the Garden, but this tree was off-limits.  He looked in the eyes of his beautiful bride and saw her pleading look and he crumbled.  He reached out and took a big bite.  He knew at once it was a mistake!  The biggest mistake of his life!

It hadn’t been many days since he had been formed in the earth and God had breathed Spirit-life into him. It had been an awesome time.  God meeting them and spending time with them.  Awesome!  But now something was very wrong.  The Spirit-life was dead and unresponsive.  He had known so many things by the Spirit and now – well, now, NOW!  He could only look around and see things that he had looked at many times and they were not as beautiful.  They were lacking.  The Light had gone out.  He looked at Eve and for the first time, he realized that she was uncovered and it gave him odd stirrings. Inside he ached to touch her.  He had never felt this way before and it frightened him!  He grabbed her hand and ran behind a nearby tree and began to make coverings out of leaves.  It was an amateur effort but it would have to do.  If he couldn’t see her beautiful body, he hoped the ache would subside.  This wasn’t the romance that Father God had explained to him when he brought her into him.

God came and told them the consequences of their choice.  The man would labor;  he would fight weeds and struggle to raise food.  The woman would have pain in child-birth.  The serpent would travel on his belly and eat dirt for the rest of his life and the woman would hate him.

There was good news – a promise that God would send His Son to save them out of this great loss and the serpent would bruise His heel, but He would crush the his head.  With those proclamations, Adam and Eve were put outside the Garden and the way back in to it was guarded by angels so they could not return and eat of the Tree of Life and in their fallen condition live forever.

Adam looked back knowing that they had really messed up!  The Garden was closed and the Spirit-life was gone.  He was trying to figure it all out in his head and it gave him a headache.  Thus Adam and Eve began an eternal battle with good pitted against evil.  Good on the moral high ground and evil at the more  alluring level, enticing them to do their own thing;  then the battle really began.  Their sons began to argue.  In the climax of their lives outside the Garden, their son Cain killed their son Able in a jealous rage.  Death got a foothold in our lives.

Adam and Eve grieved and regretted not having trusted Father God.  They longed for the Son to come save them and they looked forward to that day.

Today we are still courting death and allowing the enemy to defeat us.  We think about murder and suicide caught in this death pull.  We delight to do our own thing and at times, this means death is attractive.

Now to be clear – God didn’t do this to us.  We did it to ourselves.  It is in our DNA.  We are under the same proclamations that Adam and Eve were under when the Garden was closed to them.  But God . . .God’s plan. . . He sent Jesus, his own Son to earth.  He lived just as we do but he did it without turning away from Father God.  Ultimately, He traded His life for ours.  Jesus allowed mankind to nail Him to a  the cross of Calvary which we sometimes call a tree.  He died for you and me and now Jesus lives for you and me.  He came out of the grave and rose up so we can live.  What love!  What an event!  It had to have shaken their world.

The media of the day were the rulers from Rome and the religious leaders.  They began the propaganda machine saying His body had been stolen.  They told the soldiers who were guarding His body to say that they were asleep.  It was a cover-up!  If they had fallen asleep, they would have been executed by the Roman guard.

Yet, He walked among them and appeared to many people.  He is alive!  He is Life.  He brought us Spirit-Life then and He is still bringing it to those who want it now!  He brings all the Life that we can handle and more.  He is to us the Tree of Life, so now, we can eat freely and live forever with Him but, we just have to make our own choice.  We can continue to live – caught in the web of deceit and death – or we can choose Life.  It is simple to choose!  Call on the name of the Lord Jesus – and you will be saved back to Spirit-life!

Once again able to live in true reality, relationship and romance with Father and each other.  This is Father’s plan before the world was even conceived and it was because of His love.  He made us so He could love us and He wants us to return that love.

He says, “I have set before you life and death . . . blessing and cursing . . . therefore, choose life!  It is better.”

It is easy to do.  The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved.  Read John 3:16, 17.  Find out how much He loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him.  Each of us come to the realization of who He is in a different way.  For me, I was driving down the road, listening to the radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that Father God was real.  I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus.  I just didn’t know.  I didn’t know.”  So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing.  Ask Him to make Himself real and I promise that He will.

Genesis 1, 2, 3

Deuteronomy 30:15,16

John 6:33, 35, 47, 48

John 10:10, 28

Romans 6:23

2 Corinthians 4:10

Galatians 2:20

2 Timothy 1:1, 10

1 John 1:2, 2:16, 25, 5:11

Revelation 2:7, 22:2, 14

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