Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2016

It’s Spring in Texas and farmers are plowing ground, getting ready to sow seeds. Seeds that will produce whatever they plan to harvest in the Fall. If it’s a good year and we get a balance of enoug…

Source: A CUCUMBER FROM AN ORANGE TREE–REALLY?

Read Full Post »

It’s Spring in Texas and farmers are plowing ground, getting ready to sow seeds. Seeds that will produce whatever they plan to harvest in the Fall. If it’s a good year and we get a balance of enough rain and sunshine the farmer can reasonably expect a bumper crop. But once that seed is planted, the crop can’t change. Whatever seed germinates will produce after its kind.

Plowed Ground 2

We lived in Florida for a number of years and I promise, I’ve never seen cucumbers or tomatoes hanging from the limbs of that orange tree. Have you? Of course not, that’s against the law of reproduction commanded by God “In the beginning— “

 “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them on the earth; and it was so. And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:11-12 NAS).

But the old saying, “You get more than you sow and later than you sow,” is true. It’s a cyclical law of nature. And these same laws apply to our lives.

Anacortes Farm land

You and I are planting seeds today that will yield a greater harvest at some point in our future. So I ask, what kind of seeds you sowed last week? Or yesterday? Or today? Seeds of kindness or seeds of chaos? Seeds of hope or seeds of despair? In the process of life, we continually sow and reap. Every day. Are you satisfied with your harvest? If not, why not?

Do you know you can sow different seeds? Regardless of age, creed, or color, God stands ready to implement those seed changing attitudes and actions in your life and mine into a new and better crop. But perhaps you’re having trouble understanding and identifying what kinds of nasty seeds should be eradicated.

Reaping and Sowing

Seeds of anger, left to flourish, will choke out every other helpful and hopeful seeds your heart may attempt to cultivate. These stinky seeds must be yanked out by their roots. No tolerance. Because every day these boogers are left unattended, the second generation of anger seeds grow stronger and more resistant to extinction. And unfortunately, if left to reproduce, this generational crop will morph into bitterness.

God is very clear about this toxic crop.

“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15 NAS).

Oh, but you say, you don’t know what (you fill in the blank) did to me. Maybe not, but I know what our Lord Jesus Christ did for you. And how fitting we should talk about this today, Good Friday, the day when Jesus, a little over 2,000 years ago, took every sin you ever committed against Him into His sinless body. He chose to take God’s judgment and punishment for you. He was crucified so God could forgive you.

Now tell me again why you can’t forgive everyone for anything they’ve done to you in light of what Christ forgave you for?

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31 NAS).

Forgiveness isn’t a warm fuzzy. Nor is it a command to be best friends with the offender. Your anger and bitterness does no harm to the person who has wronged you. No, but it sure is a fatal disease for you.

I can tell you from firsthand experience forgiveness is a choice. A choice to obey God. A choice to release the subject of your vendetta and give it over to God. A choice to plant new seeds in your heart that will produce an abundant crop of joy and love and hope—for yourself and for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Plowed ground

Choosing to hold onto your anger renders what Christ did for you null and void. Is this the crop you willingly choose to produce? The crop you will one day give an answer for? The crop that prevents you from being all God intended for you to be?

“There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one. There throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths; and the path of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:10-18 NAS).

This is the description of a man/woman, boy/girl, without Jesus. Will this be the final harvest you bring to the Lord in light of His sacrifice for you? You can lay it down today, this moment, by choosing to forgive.

There is great news and bad news about this choice. The great news? The moment you purpose in your heart to forgive—it’s a done deal. The bad news? It’s a life sentence. Yes, because you’ve already given Satan a heads-up on how to sabotage you. So every time that enemy of old tries to punch replay on your old tape of whatever that so-and-so did to me, you immediately punch the off button instead and forgive them again and again and again—seventy times seven. Until Satan sees you mean business and leaves you alone for a season.

Will you choose to let the Word of God plow the hard ground of your heart, and allow the Spirit of God to plant new seeds, for a new harvest? What greater gift could you give our Lord this Resurrection Sunday than to accept His forgiveness and then forgive one (name them) who has wronged you? The Holy Spirit will be faithful to nourish those new seeds of Christ’s love, mercy, and hope in your life that will, if you continue to weed and feed the pasture of your heart, produce a bumper crop!

A Matter of the Heart

Read Full Post »

This post is by one of our PageMasters (Teen Edit Group from North Texas Christian Writers). I know God is pleased with the spiritual wisdom Abigail exhibits. She loves the Lord Jesus and has wonderful parents too. This young woman is a terrific writer…you’ll be hearing much from her in the future.

Now that I’ve listed four things to consider about modesty, I’ll conclude  this section with a few questions to ask ourselves 🙂

SET APART (2)

CLOTHING QUESTIONS:
  •  “Is my goal to draw attention to myself by wearing as little as possible, or seeking to honor God with my body?”
  • “Am I trying to blend in with the secular world around me or trying to please God?”
  • “Am I reflecting inward beauty and patience or desperation by flaunting my body?”
  • “Am I safe to look at, or will a guy have trouble keeping his eyes off my body?”

These questions can be tough to answer honestly, and I’m not by any means saying we should go around wearing body suits or flour sacks. 😉 Modesty doesn’t imply “extreme” or “unstylish.” It simply makes an honorable statement.

View original post 351 more words

Read Full Post »

Ready

Ernie's Musings

Are you ready question - vintage wooden letterpress printing blocks, stained by color inks, isolated on white

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night … But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4)

What kind of future events fill you with anticipation? You know the feeling. Like the first time that most beautiful, unattainable girl agreed to go out with you. That was one time you took extra time to make sure you smelled good, had every hair in place (I remember I used to have hair!) and your duds were in keeping with the latest style. Remember the feeling in the pit of your stomach, the sweaty palms, and the dry mouth? Remember how you rehearsed in your mind the lines you would say and your concern over making a good impression? How about the time you bought your very first…

View original post 947 more words

Read Full Post »

We have company on Moving the Ancient Boundaries today. So y’all sit up straight, pay attention, and behave—Our guest converses with angels!

Yep. Particularly a special little angel named Sarah. And I have a feeling Ms. Gay Lewis, author of the Sarah series, might have created Sarah by looking in the mirror. We won’t ask her to reveal that secret—but we know, don’t we?

CC_4 (1)
Welcome, author, teacher, and pastor’s wife GAY N. LEWIS! Delighted to have you, Gay! But let’s jump right to my first question. After reading several of your Sarah books, I wanted to know:

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Gay: Wow DiAne! What a great question. I wanted to be many things. A teacher, a writer, a pianist, a singer, and a missionary.

DiAne: I knew we were soul sisters, only I wanted to be a policewoman too!

Gay: Now that I’m making this list, I realize I am all those things. I never taught public school, but I teach Bible studies. I’ve never been to a mission field, but I’m the wife of a pastor here in the United States.

DiAne: God promises when we trust in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart.

Gay: Isn’t it amazing how God plants those desires into our heads to go along with the talents and gifts He’s given us?

DiAne: Yes ma’am. As I’ve grown older it’s nothing short of amazing. But that’s the Amazing God we love and serve.

Gay: As a child, I loved color. I could never draw or paint, but I had a good eye for composition. When time came to earn my portion of the household income, I chose the design field. I enjoyed pulling styles together—still do.

DiAne: I love color too—my husband wishes I didn’t love so much color. He’s happy with black, white, and gray. On his crazy days he wears blue. Proves God has a sense of humor and opposites really do attract.

DiAne: What about your family? Any brothers or sisters? Any children?

Gay: Yes, my parents had two more children after me, so I have a brother and a sister. All born in July. I popped into the world as a July 4th firecracker! My sister came four years later on the 25th. And my brother surprised my mom eighteen years later on July 23. My sister lives in Arlington, Texas, and my brother lives in heaven with my parents. Paul and I have three daughters and four grandchildren.

DiAne: Oh, now you’re blessed and braggin’. We only have two grandchildren. But yes, we are both very blessed. And probably braggin’—just a little!


DiAne: As you look back on your life, what was the most challenging time you can recall?

Gay: Hahahahaha! When one gets to be our age, how does one choose? Several challenges come to mind, but since you asked for only one, I’ll tell you this story.
In 1979, I was hospitalized for over five weeks.

DiAne: Five weeks? Oh my! It only took God seven days to create the Universe. What happened?

Gay: During those days, I had five surgeries and received ten pints of blood. I was in Intensive Care, not expected to live. My doctor jokes with me saying, “You’re the only woman I’ve spent a night with besides my wife.” He was at my bedside many evenings—with God’s help–keeping me alive.

I constantly reminded him I had three little girls at home who needed me. Did I put pressure on him to do a good job or what? With God’s help, he succeeded, and I did get well, but hope I never have to go through that much pain and fright again.

DiAne: Gracious girl, I’m so sorry, but grateful for God’s healing. Your story confirms God alone is the giver and taker of life. I know God is always in the business of healing, but sometimes He chooses to take us home to heal us.

On a lighter note, how did you meet Paul? And how long did it take him to pop the question?

Gay: I wandered into a church service one Sunday night, and this adorable guy was leading the music. He introduced himself at the backdoor, called me on Wednesday night, and we had our first date on Saturday evening. He told me that night he loved me and we would marry.

DiAne: What a story book romance! What did you say?

I thought he was kidding. But nope, not him. He’s always been the one to make quick decisions. He’s a doer and usually right. God has given him the gift of discernment.

DiAne: As a pastor’s wife, what would you tell young wives to help them through those first few years of marital bliss?

Gay: First years of marital bliss? Hmmm. Let me think about that one. Some young women may experience bliss in the early years of marriage, but I didn’t. I wouldn’t want to relive my first year of marriage. I didn’t find it THAT blissful.

I didn’t know how to cook or keep house. And how was I to know how to be a pastor’s wife? I didn’t have a guide book for any of these new roles, and had no time to prepare or learn anything in advance.

My husband proposed and said we needed to marry quickly. He’d accepted a church and promised to bring a wife with him… in three weeks!

DiAne: Three weeks? I can’t get ready for anything in three weeks, much less a wedding, packing, and a move. Yikes!

See? Another example of a quick decision. Looking back, I wonder why I agreed to his time schedule. I wouldn’t do it that way today, but hey—I was young, in love, and knew God selected him for me.

DiAne: Ain’t love grand?!!!

Gay: We married on a Thursday night at Methodist Hospital in Dallas, Texas. (My mom was a patient there.) We packed our meager belongings the next morning, drove to Oklahoma on Saturday, and Paul preached in his first church on Sunday morning.

The parsonage was a nice, furnished, two-bedroom house next to the church. Of course, everyone in the community kept an eye on the new preacher and his young bride.

I remember the older ladies in the congregation criticizing me for sitting close to my husband. They said I set a bad example for the young people.

DiAne: Let’s see how many years ago was that? Those ladies, bless their sweet hearts, would have a case of the vapors if they were alive today, wouldn’t they?

Gay: Well, those comments hurt then, but these days, I’d merely laugh and go on.

Gay, I know it’s difficult, but can you share one or two important lessons God has and is teaching you in the process of writing your series? Goodness girl, how do you keep all the balls in the air?

Gay: This may sound farfetched, but sometimes the words I write preach to me.

DiAne: That’s not at all unusual. I believe most of the things we write come from questions or problems we struggle with.

Gay: On my computer desk, I’ve posted sticky notes with various quotes from my books. Here’s one. “What others thought of her made no difference. They were not her judge, just as she wasn’t theirs.” That quote is from a book to come out later this year. Sarah and the Double Wedding Woes.

Here’s another sticky at eye level from the same book. “Mother Goodness smiled at Sarah, ‘Don’t look below at the circumstances. Look above to the Father.”

DiAne: Last question. Do you have a life verse from the Word of God?

Gay: I sign my books with Hebrews 13:2. This Scripture tells us we often entertain angels and don’t know it.

DiAne: Just one more last question, haha! Tell us about Sarah and Mackenzie. Oops, and one more—where is Sarah going next? Or is that top secret info known only to the Almighty?

 

Gay N Lewis's photo.
 ·

Sarah’s back, and I’m excited. I hope you’ll read about her latest adventure.

http://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Date-Mackenzie-Ga…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

       Sarah and a Date for Mackenzie.

This time Sarah goes to high school. She’s scared to death…that is if a holy angel can be scared to the point of demise. She’s never hung with kids before. Teens have never experienced anything like her either.

Sarah plans to help Mackenzie find a date for the prom.

Uh-oh! What about the school bully?

That little old meanie? Poopty doopty! Sarah can fix him.

Three generations of women live together. What about Mackenzie’s teacher mom? Oh yeah, Sarah can find a man for her too. Then there’s the grandmother. Must not leave her out.
Sarah’s got her hands and wings loaded to the brim in this one.
Book blurb:
“Merciful heavens! Getting acquainted with adult teachers in a high school is one challenge, but hang with the kids too? Sarah, heaven’s little love angel—known for bungles, has dealt with children and enjoyed them, but teenagers? My stars! They are a different ballgame. She doesn’t understand their jargon, clothes or hairdos. And mood swings? Forget it. She knew nothing about them—nada —zippo. She’d seen and heard them from above—even wondered at times why they existed on the same planet as adults. They were unique and interesting, but to mingle with them? Not a chance would she choose to do so—well, not until her latest assignment. Why would the Superiors send a bumbling angel like her to help a shy teenager find a date for a high school prom? Poopty doopty! A nightmare is about to happen.”

Gay N. Lewis
A native Texan, Gay lives in a small town west of Houston. She loves to travel and engage in artistic ventures. Two videos she produced —The Canadian Rockies, English and Japanese translations, and Psalms from the Mountains, sold well in international markets.
Graphic skills kept her busy as a portrait photographer, and for over ten years, she used her imaginative insight in the interior design field.
Gay loves travel, writing, and reading. As a pastor’s wife, she writes Faith Features for various church periodicals. Gay is also a published author. Her current series is about a dyslexic angel who comes to earth to help humans, but Sarah, the angel, is more like Lucy Ricardo with humorous antics and bumbles. The books are available in print, eBook, and audio.
Teaching an adult Bible study every Sunday morning is Gay’s joy, and she is often called upon for speaking engagements.
http://prismbookgroup.com/angels
For more information, please go to http ://gaynlewis.com/
Read excerpts on www.prismbookgroup.com
Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog.
http://www.gaynlewis.blogspot.com
https://www.amazon.com/author/gaynlewis
www.facebook.com/GayNLewis and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2.
Sarah has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ SarahWingspan

Read Full Post »

The early spring sky flamed a watercolor wash of late afternoon hues and in the distance my attention riveted on wave after wave of vector lines racing across the sky. Some way, somehow the instinct God placed in each of these creatures whispered, “Time to go!” And the snow geese head north ‘til next Fall.

Pear Blossoms
I pulled in the driveway, opened the car door, and heard more honking. Again perfect vectors of these beautiful creatures winging their way north bound. What a beautiful sight! Winter is over and Spring is here. A changing of the flock. Robins have made their yearly appearance here in East Texas and the Meadow Larks aren’t far behind. While white pelicans with their flashy orange bills wait their turn to skim into settle on our Texas lakes and ponds.

DSCF4700
As I pondered this mystery of our Creator God, more bands of geese filled the heavens from horizon to horizon. I marveled at the order of their flight. How they all share the responsibility of the journey, and how they care for one another.
How I long to be attentive to every word the Spirit of God whispers to my heart. But I’m afraid I’m more like a homing pigeon than a soaring goose. I cling to my turf, or anything else I deem belongs to me, with tightly clutched fingers arguing mine.
What are you grasping with hand-clenched-vengeance today? Don’t you know, it’s going to hurt when God pulls your fingers off. So we’d be much better to hold everything He gives with open hands.

Bluebonnets
Remember when God told Abraham to go to a land He would show him? Abraham obeyed. Remember when God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and tell him “Let My people go?” Moses obeyed. Remember when God told Samuel to anoint Jesse’s youngest son to be King of Israel? Samuel obeyed. All of these commands required faith on the part of the one God gave instructions to and it sometimes meant difficult times when they obeyed. But God’s instructions are always right and best.
Sometime after our daughter died, God called me to become involved with GriefShare, and my first words were: No. I’m grieving enough for everyone. I sure don’t want to be around more grieving people. Absolutely not. Not me.
But God said to me, “Time to go.” Like He said to the geese, “There is a new flock I’m assigning to your care.”

And I grumbled, “I don’t want a new flock. I just want Michelle back.”
God didn’t zap me. He guided me. Patiently.

Susans
Wish I could say I soared like a goose, eager to meet this new challenge, equipped with His wind beneath my wings. But I waddled like a pigeon, clucking and complaining about this new assignment, doubting my ability to do the job He assigned. I languished in longing for the comfort of solitude. Hiding out on the days grief overwhelmed me. But those times were gone. I tried to pretend I could hold onto both worlds, but when God calls you to leave, He means now and forever.

Elk Meadows 1
Fifteen years later, I’m thankful He resettled me with GriefShare. Thankful God removed me from my solitary place of grief and pain and sorrow, so His purposes for me and those I’ve shared these past years with could be accomplished.
Has God recently plucked you up and moved you out of your comfort zone and deposited you in a place requiring painful stretching? A place you don’t much like? And try as you might, you just don’t have the ability or energy to waddle, much less soar.

Stormy skies
Whether the necessary change comes from a job transfer, or job loss, divorce, or failing health, perhaps even death of a loved one, that’s all right, remember, we’re like pigeons and they don’t soar. Not yet! We plod forward, one step at a time, in the path God places in front of us. And day by day, as we follow where He leads, we find He still has a purpose and plan for our lives, regardless of age or station in life.
And as we are faithful to obey, He is always faithful to provide comfort and help and encouragement, so we in turn can comfort and encourage the individuals He places in our new flock.
Remember there is coming a day when we will all shed our pigeon-winged-earth-suits. An appointed day when He will carry us home. No more pain. No more sorrow. No more death. And no more tears!

DSCF3352
And we will rise up with eagle wings to travel with Him along those spectacular high places. Forever.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired.

His understanding is inscrutable.

He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.

Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40: 28-31 NAS).

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: