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Archive for the ‘Hand to the Plow’ Category

Most folks who know me, know that we live on a farm and always have a huge garden every year.

We can, freeze and preserve from this garden to feed our family for the next year (and I sell a little, too, to help pay the costs of the garden seed and plants).

As you can imagine, a garden this size requires a lot of work – and that’s before the canning starts! This morning I was pulling weeds out of the beans and came across a “parable”.

Can you tell the difference between the morning glory (a weed) and the beans in this picture?

Maybe this picture makes it a little clearer.

Much like Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares, the morning glories and beans look very similar. The morning glories are the more pointed leaves, and the beans are darker green and more rounded – but as you can see, you have to look closely (discern) which is a destructive weed (of which morning glories most definitely are) and which is the food giving bean plant.

If you aren’t a gardener, you may actually buy morning glory seeds to plant for flowers – and they are very pretty – but they also can choke the life out of other plants. This is a picture of a morning glory in bloom from last year’s garden.

In the early morning, in the dew and fog – they are absolutely beautiful, but morning glories are a lot like sin and false teaching. It is very pretty, and very difficult, at times, to tell from the food giving plant (or truth). The morning glory is also very invasive. One morning glory plant left to itself can wrap around several food plants – and wrap in such a way that it is nearly impossible to remove it from the food plant without breakage or damage (and although weeds, broken off, grow back profusely – a food plant, once broken, dies).

The only way to remove a morning glory plant is to pull it out by the root – which is also hard to do because it is hidden among the plants. What you have to do is trace it out – back to the source (root) and pull it out.

Sin and false teaching is the same way. It must be traced back to the source, and pulled out – and destroyed. There is no other way. It cannot be allowed to live alongside true teaching, for no matter how “pretty” it is – it will destroy everything around it.

 

I love living on the farm, and I even love working in the garden – but I especially love it when God shows me truth in the midst of my daily life!

May God bless you today! Amen!

 

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Friends often post picture of sunrises or sunsets on Facebook. Every time, I am reminded of this poem, written when I was in my early 20’s. I haven’t painted in a very long time, but still, I often look at things and “think color” such as “Thalo Green” or “Burnt Umber” or “Cadmium Red”. I guess that part never leaves…

 

The Heavenly Artists’ Guild

 

In my mind’s eye

I have never known anything

more beautiful

than a sunrise or a sunset.

 

Vibrant hues from red through blue

to yellow and virgin white,

Christening our newborn day

saluting another’s night.

 

And nothing would be better,

than on that Judgment Morn,

To have my Savior say to me,

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant,

you have been faithful over a few good paintings,

I will make you artist over many…”

 

Then to take me by the hand

and lead me to a distant hill,

where I would be painting sunsets

with The Heavenly Artists’ Guild.

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Since Pentecost Sunday a couple of weeks ago, we’ve been singing the chorus of “Spirit of the Living God” at our church which goes,

“Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me”.

 

I cannot sing the song without my hands outstretched in open submission.

 

Last night as I was about to go to sleep I was praying and thinking of the words of this song. Every time I sing it, I can visualize being melted down into a puddle, then turned on a potter’s wheel while the Potter molds me into a usable vessel. I “see” liquid being poured into my vessel and then being put into service.

As that image was going through my mind I “heard” this question – “Are you sure you want to be melted…? You do know, don’t you, that melting takes away ‘you’ so that you can be reformed and ‘molded’ anew. Plus… it might hurt…”

I thought about it a few moments… Do I want to be… am I willing to be… melted?

And so I said, “Lord, I belong to You. If you choose to ‘melt’ me, what choice do I have? You are the potter, I am the clay. Am I going to tell You what to do? Plus, I know, that if You ‘melt’ me it will be all good, even if it doesn’t look so great at the time.”

Then in my mind, I sang the song again, and gave my will to God. It’s all His anyway. It’s all good, for sure.

Amen.

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In 2005, in the last 6 weeks of his life my Daddy spent 3 weeks in the hospital, then nearly 3 weeks at home before he passed. The first week or so wasn’t too bad, and then it began to wear on me – physically and emotionally.  We went through such a “roller coaster” of emotions from “he’s not going to live through the night” to “we’re going home in a day or two…” And then, to couple this with only getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night, well it was taking a toll!

One day, when I was particularly stressed, one of Daddy’s sisters-in-law called me. Now, this lady is just special! And she… just encouraged me so much that day. So, after I hung up from talking with her, I wrote this piece that I titled “Running on Empty”.

Running on Empty

“God is ever gracious, ever loving, ever caring, ever teaching in every trial of our lives.

When my physical and emotional “tank” is on empty, He sends someone with a smile, a hug, a laugh, or a prayer that adds a little fuel to the tank and gives me a few more “miles” of strength.

Oh God, thank You that in this time of need someone came to me. Thank You, that in this time of need I saw so clearly how need-ful something like that is, and how helpful it can be.

Grant me, I pray, the “eyes” to see the opportunities to pour a little in another’s “tank” when they, too, are “running on empty.”

Thank You for this one You sent to me today.
Amen”

 

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I’ve just uploaded two lessons in our continuing study in the Book of Acts. These are also posted on the Audio Bible Study lessons page. I hope these are helpful and encouraging.

Acts 3 https://soundcloud.com/user-429419020/acts-3

Acts 4 https://soundcloud.com/user-429419020/acts-41-31

 

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This is the last lesson in the Hebrews Bible Study series. Here is the Audio Lesson

I hope you have enjoyed it half as much as I have. It has been a fascinating study for me.

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We continue our study in the book of Hebrews with chapter 12. Here is the audio study I hope you enjoy it.

If you are listening to these studies – I’d really appreciate some feedback on them. I am contemplating doing a video series. Would you be interested in that, possibly with a study guide to go along with it.

Please join with me in prayer as I listen for God’s voice in this ministry. We’re going to “Put our hand to the plow – and dig deeper into God’s word!”

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