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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Tilling Up the Ground

Our Heavenly Father is the master of creation and using that creation to teach us about who He is and what He desires for our lives. This morning as I was sitting on the porch looking at the garden spot we will be using this year and trying to figure out when I am going to get the ground tilled up and ready for spring planting, I realized how important it is to allow the Father to till up the soil of our hearts. Just like a piece of ground that becomes hard packed and rocky through the harsh weather of the winter, our hearts likewise can become hard packed and rocky when we experience the harshness of life. Physical seeds need soft pliable ground to germinate and grow strong roots. If the soil is too hard or rocky the seeds either will not grow or will not be able to withstand the heat of the summer. Spiritual seeds need good soil too. When the Father sows seeds of growth or instruction in our hearts, a soft pliable heart is necessary. Those spiritual seeds will not take root and develop the true growth we need to become more like Him. Yeshua taught about this very topic in Matthew 13:1-9 “On the same day Yeshua went out of the house and sat by the sea.  2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

May the desire of our hearts be to allow the Father to till the soil of your heart and plant seeds of growth and increasing faith!

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Never Cease To Praise

File:Sunset 2007-1.jpg

May the words to this song inspire your heart…

May we run this race, may we keep the faith; May our eyes be fixed on Jesus-
That we’ll not lose heart in our struggle with sin, And through suffering know endurance.

May we arm ourselves with the mind of Christ-To rejoice in trials and be not surprised.
May our hearts be so consumed by You That we never cease to praise!

May the words we share be Your grace and peace; May our tongues speak Your proclamations-
That the many parts of the body of Christ Be affirmed in their right relation.

As we long and wait for the groom to come, May we learn to love, and spur each other on.
May our hearts be so consumed by You That we never cease to praise!

When that day arrives, and the race is won, When our griefs give way to deliverance.
We will fully know as we’re fully known, All our groans will end as new songs begin.

And a multitude from every tribe and tongue, Wearing robes of white, will stand before Your throne,
And our hearts will be so consumed by You
That we never cease to praise!

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Isaiah 52 :7-12

 

“How beautiful upon the

   mountains

Are the feet of him who

   brings good news,

Who proclaims peace,

Who brings glad tidings of

   good things,

Who proclaims salvation,

Who says to Zion,

“YOUR GOD REIGNS!”

Your watchmen shall lift up

   their voices,

With their voices they shall

   sing together;

For they shall see eye to eye

When the LORD brings back

   Zion.

Break forth into joy, sing

   together,

You waste places of

   Jerusalem!

For the LORD has comforted

   His people,

He has redeemed Jerusalem.

The LORD has made bare His

   holy arm

In the eyes of all the nations;

And all the ends of the earth

   shall see

The salvation of our God.

Depart! Depart! Go out from

   there

Touch no unclean thing;

Go out from the midst of her;

Be clean,

You who bear the vessels of

   the LORD.

For you shall no go out with

   haste,

Nor go by flight;

For the LORD will go before

   you,

And the God of Israel will be

   your rear guard.”

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The History of the Beard

Several years ago while perusing the back cover of a book my father-in-law had given me, I noticed the title of another book by the same publisher. I believe the name of the book was “The Biblical History of the Beard”. While the title of the book really intrigued me, I did not persue getting a copy. The idea that somehow the beard was important to the Father seemed to set into my spirit. The idea stayed in the back of my mind but I didn’t spend too much energy thinking about it. About a year after that I decided to do a litttle internet research about the beard in history and in the Bible. I don’t really remember a lot about what I found but I do remember somehow coming across an Islamic thread in which one of the gentlemen basically said “Christians can say what they want to but they do not obey the commandments in the Bible…the Bible explicitly says not to shave but nearly all Christian men are clean shaven.” This statement really made an impact on me. Could it be that the Father wanted me to keep a beard? For what purpose? What does it matter to YHWH if I have a beard or not?

Skip ahead another year or so. As the Father deepened our walk with Him, we began to learn about separation. The Father began to show us that He desires His people to be separate from the world and to be different. He was showing us that this separation is not purely spiritual. While our hearts are to be separate from the world, we are likewise to be physically separate. “For I am the LORD your Elohim, you shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.” (Lev 11:44, I Peter 1:16). One definition of the word “holy” is “separate”. The scripture then looks like this…”For I am the LORD your Elohim, you shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be separate; for I am separate.” The LORD is separate if not anything. There is none like Him nor worthy of Him. He is separate and our desire should be to align ourselves with Him. The Father’s character is perfect and His law is a reflection of His character. The LORD’s law is perfect and is a delight. “Make me walk in the path of your commandments, For I delight in it.” (Psalm 119:35) “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” (Romans 7:12)

Lev 19:27  states “You shall not shave around the edges of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.” A few months ago, I decided to take the plunge. I decided to stop shaving and allow my beard to grow. I really was not ready for the flood of comments that I would get. Some comments have been approving, some indifferent, and some negative. I never realized that my having a beard would be notable enough to be a topic of conversation. I have been given funny looks, been told that I need to shave, asked if I was becoming Amish, and been complimented.  I was even told that “Only ugly men grow beards!” It seems as though wherever I go someone makes a comment about my beard. Just today at the local grocery store I was asked by the cashier “How long have you had your beard? Why do you wear it?” What is funny is that I was in line behind a gentleman that had a beard atleast twice the length of mine. Why is it that she asked me about my beard but not the other guy? Who knows but it has definitely shown me that having a beard has set me apart to an extent. I have heard it said that any man who refuses to shave because of a conviction in his spirit, is an anomaly. I would have to agree.

From another perspective, our society is consumed with a desire to look young. Plastic surgery, Botox, wrinkle creams and the like are normal. A large majority of our culture wants to look like they did when they were 20 even though they are 50. We spend large amounts of money on new hairstyles, make-up, gym memberships, and hair removal. All this to make us look perpetually young. “You shall rise before the gray-headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your GOD: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:32) If we are not careful we will not be able to tell who is old and who is young! Seriously though, the beard is an indicator of age and manhood. According to the order/model of life YHWH has given us, both age and manhood are to be revered and celebrated. By our actions and attitudes we disagree with GOD’s model.

So that is my story on why I have grown a beard.

The following link has a great teaching about the beard from a Biblical and historical standpoint. I highly recommend giving it a listen if the topic interests you. He has a much better laid out explanation that what I can give here.

http://lazarusunbound.com/audiosermons.shtml

~Pa

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Got Cucumbers?

These are days are when we are reminded “yes…all those days of watering, weeding, working in the garden are worth it”…sweat, callouses, and all :).

Cucumber plants growing up bamboo trellis

Cucumber plants growing up bamboo trellis

Our gracious heavenly Father is blessing us with a bountiful harvest of green beans, cucumbers, and peppers.  It’s so rewarding to feed our family food that is grown from our own backyard without the use of harmful chemicals. 

Genesis 1:11…Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it”….(this was day three) then

God creates man (day 6) and verse 29 “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it”

It’s amazing to me He created the seed bearing plant three days before man…with the intent to give to man.   I know this is sooo simple, but this is just so profound to me.  I guess now that I truly understand the miracle of growing food from a seed.  It still blows my mind to see a seed go into the ground, die, then bring forth life in a plant, then a flower, bloom and then ultimately a vegetable or a fruit.

Then Jesus demonstrated this same illustration by going to the grave and then He alone brings forth “fruit” in our life if and when we put our “seed” (flesh) in the ground to death!

I love how these object lessons bring the Word of God to more reality in my own life.

~Ma

July 2008 garden
July 2008 garden

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The Potter’s Hand

BEAUTIFUL LORD, WONDERFUL SAVIOR

I KNOW FOR SURE, ALL OF MY DAYS

ARE HELD IN YOUR HAND

CRAFTED INTO YOUR PERFECT PLAN

YOU GENTLY CALL ME INTO YOUR PRESENCE

GUIDING ME BY YOUR HOLY SPIRIT

TEACH ME, DEAR LORD

TO LIVE ALL MY LIFE THROUGH YOUR EYES

I’M CAPTURED BY YOUR HOLY CALLING

SET ME APART, I KNOW YOU’RE DRAWING

ME TO YOURSELF.  LEAD ME LORD I PRAY

TAKE ME,  MOLD ME, USE ME, FILL ME

I GIVE MY LIFE TO THE POTTER’S HAND

CALL ME, GUIDE ME, LEAD ME, WALK BESIDE ME

I GIVE MY LIFE TO THE POTTER’S HAND

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Baby Audrey

Please get your box of tissues.

I wanted to post this link about an amazing family who has walked a difficult road over the past year.  In a world were the sanctity of life is so challenged, the Smith family took a definite stand for the life God created.

Here’s a link to a video/song tribute to Baby Audrey and the Smith family.  You can also view other videos of the Smith’s being interviewed. 

Also, Angie’s blog “Bring the Rain”, chronicles their journey.  Here’s the link to her blog.  http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/

Thank you Todd & Angie for living out such an incredible testimony to me and my family.

We are praying for you and your sweet family!

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