Archive | February 2012

The value of a plant

Is the plant that bears ’30’ less valuable to God than the plant that bears ’60’ or ‘100’?  For example, a corn stalk typically bears 1 or 2 cobs of corn, just one time per season.  Where a bean plant bears a bunch of beans, and keeps on bearing throughout the early summer.  Are the beans more valuable than the corn?

In the parable of the sower (Matthew 13), Jesus is explaining the four soils of our hearts.  There’s the hard soil, where the word spoken just falls away and is snatched up by the devil.  These are the hard hearts, the ones that have not been saved and changed by the love of God  yet.  I have some loved ones like that and you probably do too.  Right now I’m thinking of a teenage boy I work with in my job.  His name is Jeremy.  On Monday, in group, we were reading some affirmations.  His affirmation mentioned God.  He threw it on the table.  He has rejected God.  My heart is burdened for this young man, I feel the love of Jesus for him in my heart.  I pray for him often.  I’ve said before – prayer is ‘worm work’.  I pray that the hard soil of his heart will be worked up by this ‘worm work’ and one day, soon, the Word WILL penetrate his heart.

The second soil Jesus mentioned is the rocky soil.  The heart ‘receives’ the Word, but quickly falls away when trials come.  I’ve known people like that too.  We all have trials.  Some people just like to blame every bad thing on God.  A bad thing happens, they blame God, and they won’t walk with him.  The third soil is the soil with the thorns.  These people have received the Word in their heart, but then because of the worries and the wealth and the deceit of the world, they don’t bear fruit.  As I was watching some of the coverage of the Academy Awards, I was wondering how a heart obsessed with gowns and worldly acclaim could possible bear fruit for God.  I don’t know, it’s not for me to judge.  Maybe some of those people ARE bearing fruit for God.  I pray so.

And then the fourth soil.  The good soil.  The soil we all hope we are.  Every time in the past when I have read this scripture, I have always thought the more, the better.  I hoped I would be among the ones bearing ‘100’.  But today I realized the Bible doesn’t say that bearing 100 is BETTER than bearing 30.  It doesn’t.  You know what?  That encourages me.  Because the devil has buffaloed me these past couple of years, into making me wonder if I have done something God didn’t like, or He just didn’t need me anymore.  Satan has been up to his usual tricks – lying.  deceiving.

But Jesus showed me this morning that God is the master gardener.  He’s the One who plants the garden and decides what will bear what.  And I don’t know about you, but I love a fresh tasty corn on the cob as much, if not even more, that a serving of green beans.  They both taste really good.  And they are both pleasing to my heavenly Father.  As I feel led by the Holy Spirit to pray for the ‘Jeremy’s’, to do the ‘worm work’, I am encouraged and EXCITED to be part of this important job for the kingdom.  I pray that none of us believers will ever think that whatever fruit God is having our soil produce is not valuable to God.

Corn on the cob, anyone?

A Horsey Kind of Day

yep…… I know……a wierd title for a blog post.

But that was the kind of day it was.

We got up.  Watched ‘David Reis Horsemanship’ on tv.  Al read some articles out of a horse magazine.

 

 

We went horsebackriding for three hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we came home and worked in our horsetrailer.  We are remodeling the inside living quarters.

 

 

 

Then we finished the day off by watching ‘Secretariat’, the movie about the horse that won the Triple Crown.

Yes, it was a horsey kind of day.  But oh, what a blessed day it was!  Thank you, Jesus, for your blessings, for days like this!

This entry was posted on February 21, 2012, in Uncategorized. Leave a comment

A Sovereign Bullet, A Sovereign God

I was listening to a message from John Piper.  He was telling about a mother who was killed, with her baby, while sitting with her husband in a single-engine Cessna 185 floatplane over the jungles of Peru in April 2001. The Peruvian Air Force mistook the missionary plane for a drug plane and opened fire. Missionary Veronica Bowers, age 35, was holding her seven-month-old daughter Charity in her lap behind the pilot Kevin Donaldson. With them were Veronica’s husband Jim and six-year-old son Cory. The pilot’s legs were shot and he put the plane into an emergency dive and amazingly landed it on a river where it sank just after they all got out. One bullet had passed by Jim’s head and made a hole in the windshield. Another bullet passed through Veronica’s back and stopped inside her baby, killing them both.

Two weeks later Jim Bowers stood in front of twelve hundred people in Calvary Church of Fruitport, Michigan and said, “Most of all I want to thank my God. He’s a sovereign God. I’m finding that out more now. . . . Could this really be God’s plan for Roni and Charity; God’s plan for Cory and me and our family? I’d like to tell you why I believe so, why I’m coming to believe so.”

He goes on to give a long list of unlikely events in and after the shooting, and alludes to God’s sending his Son to the cross. Here are some of the key sentences that only those who trust in God’s sovereign care for his own will truly understand. He said, “Roni and Charity were instantly killed by the same bullet. (Would you say that’s a stray bullet?) And it didn’t reach Kevin [the pilot] who was right in front of Charity; it stayed in Charity. That was a sovereign bullet. . . .”

It’s hard from me to wrap my head around this kind of thinking.  But it does make sense, if I think about it.  God didn’t CAUSE that bullet that killed that young mother and baby, but He certainly knew it would happen.  He is certainly in control of all things.  God is GOOD, LOVING, KIND, WISE, PERFECT, JUST, FAITHFUL……etc., etc., etc.

So in the trials that our family is bearing right now….. can I think the same way?  God isn’t CAUSING the alcoholic to pick up the bottle of vodka.  But He certainly know what is going on.  Oh, how I long to trust Him and have the kind of faith of Jim Bowers.

 

 

This was me on January 1st

I was reviewing my journal and saw (and remembered) my pre-fast state of mind.  This is what I wrote on January 1st, the day before I began the 21-day Daniel Fast:

“Abba, I know.  Look at me.  I am so in love with food.  with coffee. wine. sugar. white flour.  I am addicted to those things.  I crave them.  This behavior is pathetic.  Yes, I AM in bondage.  I don’t know what it would feel like to not have that bondage.  WHY am I struggling with giving up this idol?  I don’t know.  Holy Spirit, please reveal to me WHY I don’t want to give it up.  I hear you answer almost immediately – I have believed it is my friend.  Like smoking was.  It makes me “feel good”.  Instant gratification.  THE FLESH.

I think it’s my friend.  But it isn’t a ‘person’, with emotions.  Is that what I want?  Something inanimate, to make me ‘feel good’?  …with nothing I have to give back?  That’s no different than pornography.  Yes, that’s my flesh speaking.  My flesh controlling me.  Is that what I want, to live by my ‘flesh’s’ desires?  The flesh is weak, Jesus said (Matthew 26:41).

God, I am so scared of this.  Making this commitment to fast.  I’m afraid I’ll fail.  Yet I KNOW that You’re big enough to give me strength, to provide for me.  Right now you’re making me think of the story in Your Word of the rich young man.  He couldn’t give up his riches for Jesus (Matthew 19:22).  Think of his regrets all through the rest of his life.  The same thing happened to Esau.  Esau LOVED choice food and he gave up his birthright for a rich fatty meal  (Genesis 25:28).  Later he regretted it.  (Hebrews 12:17)  Is that what I’m going to do?  Give up this opportunity to go on a biblical fast to satisfy my FLESH??!!!!??

Spirit, please help me.  Teach me.  Pound it into my psyche.  Let me understand the seriousness of “choosing” the things to satisfy my flesh… coffee, sugar, white flour, alcohol, etc….. these things that offer instant gratification, over a closer walk with You.  Yes.  They are my idols.  I must admit that.  I don’t seem to think I could give them up.

Thanks to the supernatural strength God provided me, I was able to complete the fast.  He showed me that food was never meant to be my friend, nor was it designed to be my comforter.  God provided me sisters in Christ who helped me along the way:

(1)  Justeina Brownlee and the True Identity Ministry team, who challenged me to do the fast and who offered support and prayer along the way.

(2)  Kristen Feola and her cookbook, “The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast”and her blog, who offered so many awesome ideas for Daniel fast foods and meals.

(3)  My daughter who sent me a kindle book, “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst.

(4)  Lysa TerKeurst, whose teachings in her books, “Made to Crave” and “Craving God: a 21-day devotional”, taught me such important truth and broke personal bondages.

I want to close with a scripture, a scripture I have seen over and over again.  It is my daughter’s life verse.  It is the name of her blog.  Ephesians 3: 14-20.  I saw something I had never seen before.  Look what verse 19 says:  “…to know this love (the love of Christ) that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

“Filled”.  Feeling full.  Not with food.  But with God!!!!!!  Oh yes, that’s what I want!

“How great is His love towards us”

Awhile back I made arrangements to meet up with a loved one I hadn’t seen for awhile.  We decided to meet at a certain location and then spend the evening together.  We would have supper together and then hang out.  I was so excited and looking forward to this get-together.  When the day arrived, we had a great time catching up.  But then after visiting awhile, he suddenly said he had to leave – he had made plans to have supper with someone else.  I immediately felt the familiar sword of rejection pierce my psyche – I had expected to spend the whole evening with him.  In my mind, we would spend the evening together and laugh together and grow closer together.  The thing that hurt me the most was not so much that he wasn’t going to spend the evening with me …. it was more that he chose to spend the evening with someone else.

I wanted him to spend the evening with ME.  That’s what hurt.  That he chose someone else.  This has always been my trigger.  When I was a little girl, my Dad left our family for another woman – a woman who had two cute little girls.  In my mind, my Dad chose those little girls over me.  When I was in high school, I had developed a very close relationship with a teacher.  Then she seemed to be spending more time with another girl, and I was devastated.  In my mind she ‘chosen’ that other girl over me.  When my step-father died, and I wanted my Mom to come live with me, she instead chose to live with my sister, ‘choosing’ my sister over me.  A close friend rejected everything our friendship stood for and ran off with another man – again feeling like she chose him over me.  Situations at work, in my family, with my friends.  It’s always happening:  circumstances where i feel rejected, where it seems like I have been passed over for someone else.  Over, and over, and over, and over this pops up.

I finally cried out to God, “What is this all about, Lord?????”

I know this is BIG because it keeps re-appearing and it keeps causing pain in my life.  Unnecessary pain.  I seem to think unless I’m always FIRST then I’m nothing.  And the Bible specifically teaches against that.  Buy WHY do I have this NEED to be #1?  I see other people, for example my husband, who is content to be in the background.  Why can’t I be like that?  Do I fear that if I’m not always in the limelight then I’ll be forgotten and fade into an ‘aloneness place’?  That place where I spent most of my childhood?  Or is it just simply my flesh?  The enemy?  Pride?

It sounds alot like the enemy:  “…..you will be like God (i.e., you will be #1).”  Genesis 3:5

Am I trying to fill that hole in my heart – that empty place that we all have – with human love and affection, instead of filling it with God?  If I am, well that’s idolatry.  These circumstances that have caused me pain, …. they are just that – circumstances.  They don’t define me.  Jesus and My Abba Father and the Holy Spirit, they define me.  Who do THEY say I am?

“I formed you.  I made you fearfully and wonderfully.  You are precious to me.”  Psalm 139:13-17

“You are my lamb, Sue, one of my flock.  I guide you.  I lead you to green pasture.  I love you!”  John 10:11; Psalm 23

I hear God telling me, “Don’t have expectations in other humans, Sue.  None.  Only in Me.  I will meet you.  I will stay with you and talk with you and love you and want to be with you.  You’re my child!  I won’t get up and leave you!”  Jesus’ way is to be humble.  Jesus says in Luke 14:8  “Do not take the place of honor (Sue).  Do not ‘expect’ to be #1.”

Besides…. it’s not like this hasn’t happened to God Himself.  Man chose the world over Him.  Man chose darkness rather than the light.  They loved the darkness more than the light (John 3:19). Man chose land and oxen and significant others over God.  (Luke 14:18).  Why do I think I shouldn’t have to experience rejection?  Am I greater than God????  Why should I obsess over hurt feelings and the times in my life when I’ve felt rejected, when my Abba Father has been MAJORLY rejected!  Over and over and over and over again.

YET HE STILL LOVES.  HE STILL SHOWS UP.  ALWAYS.

“How great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.           Praise the LORD.”  Psalm 117:2

 

This entry was posted on February 5, 2012, in Uncategorized. Leave a comment

BEAUTIFUL FEET

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”  Romans 10:14-15 NIV

I am so proud of my daughter.  Recently she witnessed to someone who had been resisting God.  She just point black said something to the effect of, the things of this world are irrelevant if you don’t know Jesus.  Without Jesus we are under the wrath, because of OUR sin.  And without salvation from Jesus, we will go the hell.  WOW.  The simple truth.  So powerful.

She has beautiful feet.

Wanted: Worm Work

“Praying is worm-work. You can’t see worms doing their work. But without them you couldn’t plow the field. The soil would be as hard as concrete. And if you can’t plow, you can’t plant. If you can’t plant, no seed can grow. There will be no fruit and no harvest.”  Barb Beck

This entry was posted on February 4, 2012, in Uncategorized. Leave a comment