Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Time, part 3

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“a time to plant and a time to uproot” Ecclesiastes 3; 2b (NIV)
            Springtime is planting season for most crops. The one exception I know of is winter wheat. One spring my husband and I were fishing at a friend’s pond in a rural county in the south-central part of our state. Across the road from the pond, a farmer was planting a field. Since I have always lived in a city, I found it interesting to watch.

            Conversely, fall is the time to harvest those crops planted in the spring. I remember when I was in the fourth grade seeing up-close corn as a farmer combined corn and cleared a field of the stalks and the grain filled up a wagon. When our son lived in Kansas, he took a trip to Colorado. While he was there, a forest fire worked its way through the Rocky Mountain National Park. On his way back through western Kansas, the farmers were harvesting the winter wheat. The air was heavy with dust from the process.
            Last year, Hubby decided he would plant some perennial flower seeds. The result disappointed him. He wanted to tear them out. I suggested we wait and see how they would do later. This year, both flowerbeds look vibrant with color. The flowers have spread. His one comment this year was, “And I didn’t have to do anything this year.” Well, he has had to water them.
            In ministry, a new outreach effort is born to meet a need. At the other end of the spectrum, certain ministries close for whatever reason or reasons apparent to those who lead it. Certain uprooting takes place when the original purpose has not been met or a building outlives its usefulness. Certain expansions become reality when a family or a group feels the need to enlarge their vision.

            Sometimes this short phrase could apply to forming or even ending a friendship. God has to be at both the beginning and the end of relationships. Even when we experience the uprooting of our lives, we have to look to the LORD for balance.

            Dear Father God: Please help us to discern the proper time to plant and to uproot. Guide us as we decide what You want us to do. We thank you for always being with us and for helping us through the tough times. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. AMEN

Monday, June 27, 2016


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      “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

      Paul gets down to the basics of life in this passage. Let us look at each of these qualities and see what we can learn about them.

Compassion- A believer does a deed for someone because it is the right thing to do. When we help a friend or someone in need expecting nothing in return, we exhibit compassion.
Kindness- One of the fruits of the Spirit; I believe the word tenderness is a synonym. We show kindness when we do a favor for someone else. We run an errand for a neighbor. We listen to a friend who has a problem.

Humility- The Bible tells us to think of others as being better than we are. This is not a quality we see in our 21st Century society overall. We remember God’s grace that saved us and made into a new creation. A form of this word-humble- is my word for 2016. In a few months, I will share with you how this word has influenced me.

Gentleness- Another fruit of the Spirit; when we do wrong, God is gentle with us. He does not give us what we deserve because of His grace for each of us. He expects us to be gentle with those around us as well.

Patience- Here we have yet another fruit of the Spirit. The King James Version uses the term “long-suffering,” As people’s attention span decrease, I see impatience in place of this very vital value in our lives.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...