Being Woven

Help My Unbelief

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And Jesus asked his father,
“How long has this been happening to him?”  And he said, “From childhood. 

And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him.  But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 

And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’!  All things are possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”  Mark 9:21-24

From this last sentence, this final statement of the father, two words stand out — believe and unbelief.  They are below in the Greek:

πιστεύω

pisteuō

believe

to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

of the thing believed

to credit, have confidence

used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul

to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith

mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith

to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity

to be entrusted with a thing

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ἀπιστία

apistia

unbelief

unfaithfulness, faithless

want of faith, unbelief

weakness of faith

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How often I have felt that I could not ask God for physical healing or for a relationship to be healed because my own heart was so amiss.  I desired to aim high for my life yet I often could not even hold the bow up, let alone shoot that arrow.  God knows my heart, yet I often feel so weak and feeble when it comes to my spiritual strength because I am trying to do something in my own strength, not His.  He wants me to come lowly and weak so He can be strong in my life.  I want that too.

But…that seems wrong.  I am supposed to be strong and handle things myself.  Or so I think!

This sentence, “I believe; help my unbelief!,” speaks seriously and directly from this father’s heart in Mark 9.  His hope and desire is for healing to happen.  He wants that more than anything.  He wants it to work.  He knows it is not up to him to make it happen. 

He says to Jesus, “…if You can….”  How often do I ask Jesus to do something, then waffle back and forth, afraid that what I asked of Him won’t happen.  Then I doubt and wonder why I even bother to ask. 

How many people are around us every day who want to know that God exists, that there is something good in this world, that Jesus is Who He says He is…and yet, at the same time, even when we have a grasp of something, believing can be so hard because we cannot touch, see, smell.  We prefer some sort of sensory affirmation.  Today, we, the doubting Thomas’, cannot touch the wound in the side of Jesus nor the nail holes in His hands and feet.  

I struggle with what is called blind faith.  How can I believe when I cannot see the One Who promises so much and loves unconditionally?  How?  Doubt and shame color my world far too often because I think I ought to be strong.  Doubt can be so real, blocking my way.

Belief can be a statement of fact (the ocean is vast, or Sally looks good in yellow).  Belief is also an acknowledgment of trust that will fly with that arrow from the bow.  When I know by the Holy Spirit that Jesus is real, that He hears me, I trust.  I trust Jesus to answer my prayers in some way, even if the answer is “No.”  I cannot see outcomes, yet by trusting, I can know that Jesus hears and knows and will answer.

Jesus is Truth and Light.  So I pray that my unbelief be helped.  I want to believe.  I want to trust.  I want that arrow to go out from my heart with guidance from God with faith to His.

Help my unbelief, O God.  Please.  In my doubt, Father, I take one step after another, moving forward in life, knowing that I have asked You for this healing.  I trust that I believe somewhere within me.  I trust that You hear my prayer and will heal my unbelief because You want me to walk with You without fear.  You want me to let You be in control of everything.  I am not to hold those reins.  That arrow is really in Your hands, isn’t it?  You line it up in the bow because You are the Archer.  Am I the arrow, Lord?  Oh!  I thank You, Father, for blessing me with insights and newness.  In the Name of Your Son, I pray.  Amen.

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Photo/Graphic:  https://abnormalanabaptist.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/names-of-things-doubt-and-the-space-to-be/

I may be linking up with:

On Monday:

http://lauraboggess.com/    PlayDates with God

http://afieldofwildflowers.blogspot.com/    Small Wonder

http://janncobb.com     Reflect

http://mecoffeeandjesus.com/      Words with Winter

http://www.solideogloriasisterhood.com/    Soli Deo Gloria Connections

On Tuesday:

http://www.richfaithrising.com/    Unite the Bloggersphere

http://purposefulfaith.com/    Cheerleading #RaRaLinkUp

http://hollybarrett.org/    Testimony Tuesday

http://www.intentionallypursuing.com/     Intentional Tuesday

http://jenniferdukeslee.com/    Tell His Story

On Wednesday:

http://holleygerth.com/       Coffee for Your Heart

http://www.w2wministries.org/     Word Filled Wednesday

http://www.kristinhilltaylor.com/      3-Word Wednesdays

On Thursday:

http://3dlessons4life.com/      Thought-Provoking Thursday

http://www.faithbarista.com/      Beloved Brews

http://tsuzanneeller.com/        Live Free Thursday

On Friday:

http://www.missionalwomen.com/  Faith-Filled Fridays

http://arabahjoy.com  Grace and Truth

http://countingmyblessings.com/   Blessing Counters

http://www.simplemomentsstick.com/   Faith and Fellowship

On the Weekend:

http://www.barbieswihart.com/     Weekend Whispers

http://sandraheskaking.com/     Still Saturday

http://seespeakhearmama.com/     Give Me Grace

http://www.janiscox.com/        Sunday Stillness

http://www.spiritualsundays.com/     Spiritual Sundays

Children Are a Heritage From the Lord

backtoschool2School starts around here on Monday, August 24th.  Signs along the streets near schools or over the highways remind us that children are back in school, to drive safely.  Flashing lights warn us to slow down to 20 miles per hour because we are in a school zone.  Children are crossing streets under a school guard’s care.  The signs and signals warn us of the caution we should be taking as we near schools in our neighborhoods…young lives are at risk.

But does anything warn us of the ways of the world entering into the minds of our children whether at school, in front of the television or the internet, in the park, or even in the home?

“I believe that at birth, all children bear the stamp of their Creator.  Their purity and innocence is a great gift.  Once it has been lost, it cannot be replaced.  All the more, it must be guarded as a treasure which no one has a right to destroy.”   ** Johann Christoph Arnold, p. 133

“If we are going to protect innocence in a child, we need to cleanse our own hearts of pollution.  Our response upon encountering a child must be nothing less than reverence.  Perhaps because the word sounds old-fashioned, its true meaning has been blurred.  Reverence is more than just love.  It includes an appreciation for the qualities children possess (and which we ourselves have lost), a readiness to rediscover their value, and the humility to learn from them.  Reverence is also an attitude of deep respect….”  ** Johann Christoph Arnold,  p. 133-134

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  And calling to Him a child, He put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”  Matthew 18:1-6

Children are beautiful creations and we need to protect them.  We need to teach them God’s values and what is important to Him.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven.”  Matthew 18:10-11

“For whatever else might define childhood, one thing is constant: it is the gathering place of life’s first and most indelible memories — the unalterable frame for all the experiences that accompany us through life.  And thus, in the end, the task of bringing up children is not only a question of effective parenting, and even less one of educational insights, theories, or ideals.  It is, first and foremost, a matter of the love we give them, which has power to awaken more of the same, even years down the road.”  ** Johann Christoph Arnold,  p. 161

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.  Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.  It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.  Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Psalm 127:1-3

Let us pray for our children and their teachers.  I am not a parent, but I taught and now I tutor.  I want to be the image of Christ in their little lives, as well as to their parents.  I want to do the right thing for and with these children.

Father God, our children are returning to school.  I pray for their safety, their protection by your legions of angels.  I pray for a loving, respectful teacher to guide them in the matters of learning.  I pray that the parents, grandparents, foster parents, be an example of Your Son to these children.  They need You more than anything this world can offer.  They need Your salvation as they raise these young ones.  May they each and every one come to know Your Son as Lord and Savior.  Father, please give the parents the wisdom to raise their children in Your Name, by Your Word.  Teach them what they need in order to raise their children.  Open their eyes to You, Lord.  By this, they can truly raise their children in the Name of Jesus.  Oh, how I want that because I want that for the innocent ones.  Children are precious in Your sight.  Save them from this evil world, Father.  I thank You that You have a plan for them and love them dearly.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

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** Arnold, Johann Christoph, Their Name is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World, 2014, Plough Publishing House, New York
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P.S.  This book is excellent and will be doing a book review on it soon on my “The Reader and The Book” blog.

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I may be linking up with:

On Monday:

http://lauraboggess.com/    PlayDates with God

http://afieldofwildflowers.blogspot.com/    Small Wonder

http://janncobb.com     Reflect

http://mecoffeeandjesus.com/      Words with Winter

http://www.solideogloriasisterhood.com/    Soli Deo Gloria Connections

On Tuesday:

http://www.richfaithrising.com/    Unite the Bloggersphere

http://purposefulfaith.com/    Cheerleading #RaRaLinkUp

http://hollybarrett.org/    Testimony Tuesday

http://www.intentionallypursuing.com/     Intentional Tuesday

http://jenniferdukeslee.com/    Tell His Story

On Wednesday:

http://holleygerth.com/       Coffee for Your Heart

http://www.w2wministries.org/     Word Filled Wednesday

http://www.kristinhilltaylor.com/      3-Word Wednesdays

On Thursday:

http://3dlessons4life.com/      Thought-Provoking Thursday

http://www.faithbarista.com/      Beloved Brews

http://tsuzanneeller.com/        Live Free Thursday

On Friday:

http://www.missionalwomen.com/  Faith-Filled Fridays

http://arabahjoy.com  Grace and Truth

http://countingmyblessings.com/   Blessing Counters

http://www.simplemomentsstick.com/   Faith and Fellowship

On the Weekend:

http://www.barbieswihart.com/     The Weekend Brew

http://sandraheskaking.com/     Still Saturday

http://seespeakhearmama.com/     Give Me Grace

http://www.janiscox.com/        Sunday Stillness

http://www.spiritualsundays.com/     Spiritual Sundays

Alone With Jesus

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Some times, many times, days just don’t go the way I would have hoped.

I had a tooth with a crown just break off recently.  I needed a new crown and some build up work done to make it right again.  That is not a cheap investment either, but important.  The dentist did not get all the decay so now must redo the whole process again.

I am praying for one who has considered suicide recently.  I just had a two-part series posted on my personal experience with suicide of a friend.  I am saddened for this woman, for her family.

I recently found myself wishing that things were going a bit differently than they were.  I was placing blame all over the place until God reminded me that satan is everywhere desiring to devour me.  I uttered these four words: “Satan, get thou behind me!”

But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”  Matthew 16:23

Some days, the road just seems filled with bumps, holes, blockades.  When life feels hard, rather than falling into one of those potholes, I need to be looking for that quiet place to be with Jesus.

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.  Matthew 6:6

Jesus sought to be alone at times.  He knew He would meet His Father.  He could lift His heart’s desires, hopes, and even those things that were so heavy upon Him to His Father.

And early in the morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there Mark 1:35

David knew this too.

I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
  Psalm 34:4

I want to meet the LORD wherever I am and in all circumstances.  I cannot do that while deep in worldly thoughts.  I need to step aside, away from the world, removing myself from the negativity, the fears, the heaviness, the busyness.

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before Him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do what pleases Him.  And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He has commanded us. Whoever keeps His commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit Whom He has given us.  1 John 3:19-24

Father, You are my God and Creator of my soul, my mind, my heart, and my body.  You know all that goes on in and through me, Father.  Thank You for reminding me Whose I am.  I may live in this world, but I am Yours and want to stay connected to You with every breath.  Thank You for guiding me and lighting the candle along what felt, what feels,  like a dark path.  I am walking with You today.  I want to stay here with You.  I pray in the Morning Star’s Name, Jesus.  Amen. 

You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13

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I Found Him — When Someone You Know Dies from Suicide…and You Are the One Who Finds Them (Part 2)

SONY DSCWhen you are the one who has lost someone to suicide, whether you had been the one to find them or not, the emotions are huge.  The memories haunt.  The loss is beyond what you could have imagined. If you found someone dead, the images are etched in your mind. They are painful. I am sorry. I understand because I know. Take time to let all of this roll around and be processed. For many, if not most, in this situation, getting counseling is so very important. Going as often as you need to go is really quite okay.

If your mind is filled with the image of suicide, get sweet pictures of this person and look upon them. Place them around the house…around you. Think about him or her when they were alive. Remember things you did together, words shared, special moments. Fill your mind with those images. Talk about his or her life with others who care about you. Celebrating his or her life will help tremendously to change what is imprinted upon your mind from that day. These are ways to work through the pain and begin to replace the images of finding one with happy images. This is not a process that is over in a year or even five. It seems to be ongoing but is less and less over the years. God wants your mind and heart filled with Him.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Follow me over the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood Connections for the rest of the story….

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I Found Him — When Someone You Know Dies from Suicide…and You Are the One Who Finds Them (Part 1)

SONY DSCI write this from the perspective of the one who found a dear friend after he had killed himself…suicide.

How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.  Psalm 13:2-4

This man, Jim, was 46 and decided that life had no meaning any longer, I presume. I will never really know…just a heart-felt and honest guess.  He was an artist, but had a hard time making a living from his beautiful airbrushed paintings.  He was a machinist by trade.  He had some tough relationships over his all-too-short life.  He had been sober for almost 8 years, had quit smoking for 2 years.  He came from a family of drinking. His mother died of cancer. His only sibling was a brother who chose to separate himself from my friend as well as his parents because he had chosen not to drink.  As a friend, I cared about Jim like a sister would care about her only brother.  We were both searching for Jesus at the time we met.  We did not know that, but we were.  We searched in many-a-dark corner, but continued looking.  I never knew him during his drinking years so my perspective is a bit skewed from others who knew him earlier in his life.  As an artist, a weaver, myself, we began doing shows together to try to make a living being artists when I moved into this same city.  Neither one of us made enough to pay for doing what we loved, but we tried for a while.

I finally found full-time work for I needed a steady income.  Jim continued to paint and even went to New Mexico for six months to gain a different perspective while continuing to paint.  Eventually, he moved back here and then had a hard time finding a machinist job.  Things were not going as he had hoped.

I came home from work one day and found an envelope in the mail slot of my door.  It was from Jim.

Follow me over to Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood Connections to read the rest of Part 1 …

Part 2 will be posted Friday, 8/14/2015.

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Photo: Sony:DSC

Jesus — Propitiation for My Sins

God, You have blessed me with Your Word, Your Truth.  You teach me as I walk with You and learn Your ways.  You are showing me that by my sins, Your wrath is real.  Yet, by my sins, Your love and mercy and grace are strong and beautiful.  You sent Your Son for me.  You love me so.

For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.

But one testified in a certain place, saying:
“What is man that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him?

You have made him a little lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
And set him over the works of Your hands.
You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.   Hebrews 2:5-9
hebrews2Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God

Jesus, our Salvation

Jesus, our All

Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.  Hebrews 2:17

ἱλάσκομαι

hilaskomai

to conciliate

to atone for (sin)

be propitious:—be merciful, make reconciliation for

propitiation (n) prō-pi-shē-ā-shǝn–

the act of appeasing the wrath and conciliating the favor of an offended person

atonement or atoning sacrifice

Jesus…

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.  1 John 2:2

Jesus…

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.  Romans 3:23-26

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Jesus…

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  1 John 4:10

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…’Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live…

from “In Christ Alone”

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Father, You could be so angry, so wrathful towards me.  I am a sinner.  But You see through me and know that I need a Savior.  I need Salvation.  You are Just.  You came to me through Your beautiful Gift, Your Son, Jesus, Who delivered me from my sins.  Through repentance and belief, I have been set free.  You are Merciful.  You have granted so much to me which I take for granted sometimes.  I am sorry, Father, for I forget all too often of the many gifts which I am allowed.  Yet, I do not forget that I can fly free from the shackles of sin because of Jesus, Your Son, Your Son’s death on the Cross for me, for others such as I.  Your Grace and Your Truth have been showered over me.  I am ever so grateful, Father.  “Here in the death of Christ I live….”  I live.  Thank You for this precious Gift. 

In Your Son’s Holy Name, I pray.  Amen. 

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Graphic/Photo:  http://pictures.agodman.com/spiritual-quotes/hebrews-29-but-we-see-jesus-crowned-with-glory-and-honor/

Graphic:  http://lifegatefellowship.com/wp/?m=201309

“In Christ Alone” by KOCH, DONALD A. / CRAIG, ANDREW SHAWN; Published by Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Peter’s Greetings

My husband and I have been reading Peter together this week.  The first verses of both First and Second Peter are greetings, an initial address to his audiences.  The gifts that Jesus has given to all believers are listed in these first verses.  I am so humbled by them.  They are sinking into this believer’s heart, mind, and soul.  Jesus gave it all for one such as me…for me!

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  1 Peter 1:1-5

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Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine naturehaving escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.  2 Peter 1:1-4

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OH!  SUCH GIFTS WHEN WE WERE YET SINNERS!!!

Peter then tells us:

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 1:5-8

Father God, I want to be effective in my walk in this world.  I want the light of Jesus to shine from me to others who may not know Him, who need encouragement, who are confused as they live in this world.  I want to stay humble and remember all that has been done for me.  You gave it all and I received Your beautiful gift of salvation, mercy and grace for my error-filled ways.  Thank You, LORD, for being gracious to me.  I love You dearly.  I pray in the Name of Jesus.  Amen. 

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Cultivate

cultivate1280-1-560x448What is the life God desires of me? … His life, His life in me. And just what is that?

I walk with Him. I listen to Him. I know in part but one day will know in full what my life should/could have been. I pray I will walk the remainder of my life, growing more and more like Him, towards Him, each and every day.

Give ear, and hear my voice;

Give ear, and hear my voice;

give attention, and hear my speech.

Does he who plows for sowing plow continually?

Does he continually open and harrow his ground?

When he has leveled its surface,

does he not scatter dill, sow cumin,

and put in wheat in rows

and barley in its proper place,

and emmer as the border?

For he is rightly instructed;

his God teaches him.

 

How can I ‘cultivate’ this life…this life God desires of me?

  • tilling the soil
  • planting the seeds
  • watering the earth
  • keeping the weeds out and away from the new sprouts
  • harvesting the crop

cultivation

(ˌkʌltɪˈveɪʃən)

1. (Agriculture) agriculture

a. the planting, tending, improving, or harvesting of crops or plants
b. the preparation of ground to promote their growth
 
2. development, esp through education, training, etc

3. culture or sophistication, esp social refinement

How do I take this picture and make it mine?

  • The soil is me.  I am tilled up by reading God’s Word.  I listen for His instruction.  I pray.
  • The seeds are for planting; God’s thoughts, God’s Word, God’s Way are those seeds to be planted in fertile, moist soil. By knowing His Word, hearing His voice, waiting upon Him, I become the type of soil where the roots can take hold.
  • I never thirst for I have the Living Water.  Staying close to Jesus is how those seeds come to fruition.
  • The weeds, the tares, are not to get a foothold.  By staying in the Word and in communion with God allows the seeds to grow and keeps satan away.
  • Harvest time is a continuous time as the seeds are of every different part of growing that God wants for me.  He knows the possibilities in me for growthSo today, I may be able to harvest patience.  Tomorrow, I may harvest extra love.  I may also need some faith every day.  To harvest may be to serve, or to pray, or to wait, or to be gentle.  So many wonderful plants and fruits of the harvest.  Thus harvesting is ongoing and on-growing.

Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,

nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin,

but dill is beaten out with a stick,

and cumin with a rod.

Does one crush grain for bread?

No, he does not thresh it forever;

when he drives his cart wheel over it

with his horses, he does not crush it.

This also comes from the Lord of hosts;

he is wonderful in counsel

and excellent in wisdom.

Isaiah 28:23-29 ESV


God uses the perfect tool for each task.  His counsel is what I need to cultivate the life that He desires for me.  His counsel calls me to pray.  He calls me to be still.  He wants my ear.  He also wants my mouth to hold fast to wait for Him.  He wants my obedience, my love, my humbleness, my honor.  He wants me in His hands like clay.
The life of God in me is, hopefully, that of respect, quietness, and gentleness.  It is that of service by His hand, not of mine, or that out of guilt.  He is the Farmer, the Potter, the Creator.  I want Him to be glorified in all I am, in all I do.  May it be so, Father God.  Amen.

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Wisdom From Above

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James 3:17

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.  NKJV

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  NIV

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  ESV

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.  NASB

God, the wisdom that we need is only from You.  It is not the wisdom of man nor the world.  You gladly give us this gift, if we would only ask.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)  And, the treasures that describe Your wisdom, LORD…

pure:  μέν – me’n =  truly, certainly, surely, indeed; “…free from iniquity, studious of holiness both in heart and life.” (M. Henry)

peaceable: εἰρηνικός – eirēnikos = bring peace with it, peaceful, salutary; peace depends upon purity.  ” Those who are truly wise do what they can to preserve peace, that it may not be broken; and to make peace, that where it is lost it may be restored. In kingdoms, in families, in churches, in all societies, and in all interviews and transactions, heavenly wisdom makes men peaceable.”  (M. Henry)

gentle: ἐπιεικής – epieikēs = equitable, fair, mild, gentle, seeming, suitable.  “It is gentle, not standing upon extreme right in matters of property; not saying nor doing any thing rigorous in points of censure; not being furious about opinions, urging our own beyond their weight nor theirs who oppose us beyond their intention; not being rude and overbearing in conversation, nor harsh and cruel in temper. Gentleness may thus be opposed to all these.”  (M. Henry)

Father, I feel compassion in what Mr. Henry says here as it is the need to control, to be right, to act high and mighty that brings us down.  Help me to use Your wisdom when I talk to others. 

easy to be entreated: εὐπειθήςeupeithēs = easily obeying, compliant.  “…it is very persuadable, either to what is good or from what is evil.”  (M. Henry)

full of mercy: ἔλεοςeleos =  mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them/of men towards men: to exercise the virtue of mercy, show one’s self merciful.

good fruits: καρπόςkarpos =  that which originates or comes from something, an effect, result/work,act, deed.

Heavenly wisdom is full of mercy and good fruits, inwardly disposed to every thing that is kind and good, both to relieve those who want and to forgive those who offend, and actually to do this whenever proper occasions offer.”  (M. Henry)

without partiality: ἀδιάκριτοςadiakritos = without dubiousness, ambiguity or uncertainty. The original word, adiakritos, signifies to be without suspicion, or free from judging, making no undue surmises nor differences in our conduct towards one person more than another. The margin reads it, without wrangling, not acting the part of sectaries, and disputing merely for the sake of a party; nor censuring others purely on account of their differing from us. The wisest men are least apt to be censurers.”  (M. Henry)

without hypocrisy: ἀνυπόκριτος  – anypokritos = unfeigned, undisguised, sincere. It has no disguises nor deceits. It cannot fall in with those managements which the world counts wise, which are crafty and guileful; but it is sincere and open, steady and uniform, and consistent with itself.”  (M. Henry)

Father God, You will gladly give us this precious gift and when You do, may we use it as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:12: For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

I pray that my mind and heart would stay close and tender towards Your teaching as I learn Your ways, O LORD. 

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.  James 3:18

“And that which is sown in peace will produce a harvest of joys. Let others reap the fruits of contentions, and all the advantages they can propose to themselves by them; but let us go on peaceably to sow the seeds of righteousness, and we may depend upon it our labour will not be lost.  For light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart; and the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”  (M. Henry)

Father, I pray that I would be still and ask for Your wisdom.  That I would allow Your Holy Spirit to bathe me in it and walk this world with the strength of Your wisdom in me through Your Holy Spirit.  May I be quiet and assured because I am close to You.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

beblacksig

Photo:  The Fellowship Site

God of the Heavens

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft was launched January 19, 2006.  On July 14, 2015, it passed Pluto and its moons.  Pluto is 31.94 Astronomical Units (AU) from Earth.  One AU is the average distance between the Sun and Earth, about 93 million miles or 149.6 million kilometers.  “At its most distant, when the Earth and Pluto are on the opposite sides of the sun from one another, Pluto lies 4.67 billion miles (7.5 billion kilometers) from Earth. At their closest, the two are only 2.66 billion miles (4.28 billion km) apart.” These numbers are phenomenal numbers, beyond what my mind can wrap around.  But they are real numbers and what scientists have calculated with their knowledge and understanding.

Pluto_charon_150709_color_finalPluto has five known moons.  Charon is in the photograph with Pluto above.

planets3All of these planets orbit around the sun.  This is the solar system we call “ours.”

How much more has God created beyond Pluto?

eyes-on-plutoMan created a spacecraft that took 9 and a half years to get to its destination, arrived, took photos, sent radio signals back to Earth, and now continues outward into space.

God knows what is out there.  Man is learning some of God’s creation beyond our corner of this world.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! 
Psalm 139:17

Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.  Deuteronomy 10:14

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!”  1 Kings 8:27

שָׁמַיִם

shamayim

from an unused root meaning to be lofty

the spaces of heaven, however vast and infinite

Heaven, heavens, sky

as the abode of God

alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve

Jehovah is called the God of heaven

“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all His people, may the LORD his God be with him. Let him go up.’”  2 Chronicles 36:23

Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for His steadfast love endures forever.  Psalm 136:26

 Father God, God of the heavens, You created it all and know every star, planet, and all that is out in what we call “outer space.”  You know that there is nothing too great or small for You because it has all been formed by Your very hands.  How amazing You are, Father!  ‘Vast’ seems like too small of a word to describe all that You have made and all Who You are.  Father, thank You for loving us, these tiny creatures compared to what we are able to see through the ingenuity, intellect, and inventiveness that You have given to man.  Yet, I know that there is so very much more.  Thank You, Loving God of the heavens, for being willing to adopt me into Your family, forgiving me for my sinfulness, guiding me through the way that You have chosen for me.  I pray with gratitude and amazement to You through Your Son.  Amen. 

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Hubble Space Telescope – views into God’s creation –

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/index.html

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New Horizons –

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/index.php

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Photo 1: NASA/JPL – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charon_%28moon%29#/media/File:Pluto_charon_150709_color_final.png

Photo 2:  NASA –  http://www.vtaide.com/png/solar-system.htm

Photo 3: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)  http://eyes.jpl.nasa.gov/eyes-on-pluto.html

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